Strong international opposition awaits Czech stars in Prague

Zuzana Hejnova
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Czech Republic's Zuzana Hejnova will compete in the 400m hurdles at the Josef Odlozil Memorial in Prague on 3 June

Meeting headliners Zuzana Hejnova and Pavel Maslak will face tough international competition when they compete at the Josef Odlozil Memorial in Prague, the opening European Athletics Classic Permit Meeting of the summer, on 3 June.

Hejnova has won this meeting five times already but she will have to overcome opposition from European bronze medallist Meghan Beesley and Georganne Moline from the United States to make it a sixth win in the Czech capital in the 400m hurdles.

In the 400m flat, three-time world indoor champion Maslak faces a trio of sprinters who are inside the world all-time top-20 for the one lap event: former world and Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt from the United States (43.65), Olympic fourth-placer Machel Cedenio from Trinidad & Tobago (44.01) and African champion Baboloki Thebe from Botswana (44.02).

The task facing Jakub Vadlejch in the javelin won’t be any easier as he lines up alongside Johannes Vetter from Germany, the thrower who beat Vadlejch for the world title in London two years ago. Vadlejch produced one of the highlights of last year’s meeting when he reached out to a season’s best of 89.02m.

Another meeting highlight will be the 100m featuring a trio of sub-10 sprinters from Europe. European silver medallist Reece Prescod starts as the favourite based on recent form ahead of joint European record-holder Jimmy Vicaut from France and Turkey’s Jak Ali Harvey.

Elsewhere, European U20 champion Michaela Hruba is confirmed for the high jump and Czech record-holder Radek Juska faces South Africa’s Zarck Visser and Ukraine’s Serhiy Nykyforov in the long jump.