Medals for Ogrodníková, Drahotová and Vrabcová Nývltová at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin, including historic result for latter in marathon; top three in soccer league make it maximum 12 points in four outings; and Slavia with work to do against Dynamo Kyiv in Champions League playoffs.
However, the competition ended on a relative high from the Czech perspective with silver medals in the closing days for Nikola Ogrodníková in the javelin and Anežka Drahotová in race walking and bronze for Eva Vrabcová Nývltová in the marathon.
Ogrodníková, who is 27, has been enjoying the season of her career by some distance. It reached a climax when a throw of 61.85 metres saw her only beaten by Germany’s Christin Hussong in what was the Czech’s first major final.
“I can’t describe what’s coursing through my body right now. It’s a real avalanche of alternating emotions. Sometimes it feels good and other times I just don’t know what to make of it. But basically I’m happy – it worked out well.”
Anežka Drahotová, who is 23, had taken bronze at the last European Championships but went one better in the 20 kilometre walk racing event in Berlin. She finished in a time of 1:27:03, just behind Maria Perez of Spain.
“It’s what you wish for, it’s what you dream about, it’s what you work for. The credit goes to my whole team: my trainer, my psychologist, my family, my boyfriend. It’s not just me – everybody is delighted about it.”
While she took the least valuable medal, Eva Vrabcová Nývltová’s achievement in Berlin was perhaps the Czech team’s most remarkable. The 23-year-old’s bronze for a time of 2:26:31 was the first time a Czech athlete had ever taken a medal in the marathon at the European Championships. Indeed it was the first time any Czech had reached the podium in the discipline at a major competition since the days of Emil Zátopek no less.
The top three teams in the Czech football league again won at the weekend, meaning Slavia Prague, Sparta Prague and Viktoria Plzeň all have the maximum 12 points after four rounds. Slavia overcame Hradec Králové 1:0 on the road, Sparta beat Teplice 4:0, also away from home, and Plzeň beat Zlín 1:0 at home.
Slavia are in action again on Tuesday, when they take on Dynamo Kyiv in the second leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie. The Ukrainians have the advantage in that clash, having secured a 1:1 draw in Prague last week.