The reigning javelin double Olympic champion, Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic, has recently returned to competition after taking a pause from the sport to give birth to her son Janek in 2013.
As far as we can tell she has not lost her strength, taking victory at the European Athletics Team Championships in Braunschweig with 65.57m, and throwing above 66 metres in both Diamond League meetings in Rome and Lausanne with 66.43m followed by 66.72m.
Spotakova has dominated her discipline for the past several seasons, but still needs a European title to complete her medal collection and go down as one of the sports’ greatest.
“Obviously the European Athletics Championships is a big goal,” Spotakova told IAAF after her victory in Lausanne.
At 33, Spotakova needs to seize the opportunity this summer in Zurich. Her main rivals in Germany’s Christina Obergföll and Russia’s Mariya Abakumova have also both recently become mothers and will therefore not be competing in Switzerland.
“You can never take anything for granted because there is always somebody new, so I have to be ready for everybody. Someone could throw 70 metres,” she continued.
Her biggest opponent this season will certainly be Germany’s Linda Stahl who leads the European Rankings with 67.32m from New York less than a month ago.
She also has the advantage of already having won a European gold medal in Barcelona 2010, so the weight of the pressure will definitely be off Stahl’s shoulders in Zurich.
In Braunschweig in June, it was Spotakova who triumphed with 65.57m, Stahl having to settle for third place with 61.58m.
Still Spotakova believes her best performances are still to come.
“I haven’t had many competitions, but it’s great that I haven’t lost yet,” she said. “I’m throwing between 65 and 66 metres in all different conditions, so there must be some long throws coming. We hope for at least one big throw.”
And surely she’s saving that big throw for 14 August, date of the women’s javelin final in Zurich.