Špotáková a special guest at the Odlozil Memorial Meeting in Prague | 11.06.2012
|Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova will be the
star attraction at the 19th edition of the Odlozil
Memorial Meeting in Prague on Monday.
Špotáková will fly directly to Prague from New York, where she competed on Saturday night and threw a European-leading mark of 68.73m.
The 2011 World Championships silver medallist has been offered a bonus of $20,000 if she can break her world record of 72.28m, set in 2008, in the Czech capital.
"I've believed from the start of the season that I will throw over 70 metres and it's only a matter of time before it comes, said Špotáková on Thursday before crossing the Atlantic.
"The travel is OK, I'm used to it; so I should not be too tired."
Many other local Czech stars will also be competing in Prague including 2011 European Athletics Indoor Championships 400m gold medallist Denisa Rosolová, who will have her second race over the 400m hurdles.
Rosolová showed that she has got a bright future at the event, despite her inexperience, when she won in 56.42 on her debut at her new discipline at the European Champions Clubs Cup Group B meeting last month.
However, the meeting organisers have assembled a formidable field for what could be the highlight on the track.
Russia's 2010 European Athletics Championships gold medallist Natalya Antyukh. Bulgaria's Vania Stambolova, who took the silver medal in Barcelona two years ago and who is unbeaten in five races over the barriers this year, are joined by Czech Republic's number one 400m hurdler Zuzana Hejnova and Great Britain's rapidly improving Eilish Child.
Among the other local stars in action are 2011 World Indoor Championships 800m silver medallist Jakub Holusa, who will run over 1500m in the race race held annually to commemorate the 1964 Olympic Games 1500m silver medallist Josef Odlozil.
Pole vaulter Jirina Ptacnikova faces Germany's 2010 European Athletics Championships silver medallist Silke Spielgelburg, Australia's 2012 world-leading Alana Boyd and Russia's Aleksandra Kiryashova, fresh from her win at the European Athletics Outdoor Permit Meeting in Lille on Saturday in another event with outstanding depth.
Czech Republic's high jump record holder and 2012 World Indoor Championships silver medallist Jaroslav Baba also has some tough opponents in the shape of fight Germany's Raul Spank and Poland's Sylwester Bednarek, who were the joint 2009 World Championships bronze medallists, Russia's former European junior champion Sergey Mudrov and Greece's Kostadinos Baniotis.
Poland´s Joanna Wisniewska is the women's discus favourite against best home thrower Vera Cechlová.
The men's 110m hurdles should be a duel between Great Britain's 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships silver medallist Andy Pozzi and Poland's 2008 Olympic finalist Artur Noga.
Poland´s Adam Kusiak is the shot put favourite while Greece's Dimtrios Tsiamis fulfils the same role in the men's triple jump.
The meeting this year will be staged at the famous Rosicky Stadium. The temporary move back to the site of the 1978 European Athletics Championships has been precipitated by reconstruction work at the Juliska Stadium, the home of the meeting for the last 10 years, but the organisers said that they expect to return there next year.
The meeting will be an afternoon and early evening affair this year, with the main programme starting at 1445 local time, due to European Championships football matches later during the day. It is being broadcast live by Czech TV.
Details of all European Athletics Outdoor Premium Meetings can be found here.
The website for the 2012 Odlozil Memorial Meeting (in Czech) is here.