Barbora Spotakova, the World and Olympic Javelin champion gave the home crowd of about 5000 at Juliska stadium on Monday night (8) what they wanted at 16th Josef Odlozil Memorial.
The Josef Odlozil Memorial is part of a select group of Area meetings at which points can be acquired by athletes to qualify for the IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, to be held on 12-13 September in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Spotakova who is also the World record holder, achieved 68.23m on her last throw. This was her third meet of the year and again she had improved. She is now closer to world season lead of German Christina Obergfoll (68.40). Next week they will meet each other at Ostrava Golden Spike – IAAF World Athletics Tour meeting - on 17 June.
“My legs were not running properly, that was not my day,” said an unsatisfied winner. “I needed more time to get into the competition rhythm. The last throw was not nice, I needed to work on it too much. Now I will go to Nymburk to have a short training camp before Ostrava.”
South African Sunette Viljoen was second with 60.99m.
A trio of meet records
Three new meet records were established last night. The first in 4x100m relay in which the national men’s team clocked 39.50 sec (Zilka, Vojtik, Schiller, Veleba) but someway off the World championships qualification standard (39.10).
Then in a dramatic 110m Hurdles race Dexter Faulk improved his personal best set from last week in Turin by 0.08 to clock an excellent 13.21 sec, the third fastest in the world this year. The drama happened around Czech record holder Petr Svoboda who was closing down on Faulk but after the seventh hurdle felt a cramp and limped to finish line in 15.16. He hopes it was only a cramp, but more will be clear after a precise doctor’s examination.
The third meet record was the biggest surprise. The reigning European U23 champion from 2007, David Greene of Great Britain running in eighth lane of the men’s 400m Hurdles surprised everybody by not only winning and dramatically improving his personal best (49.53 last year) to currently the European leading time for this year, 48.62 sec.
South Africa's Commonwealth Games winner LJ Van Zyl clocked a season best of 48.78 for second, as did USA’s LaRon Bennett (49.22) who took third ahead of Greece’s European champion Periklis Iakovakis (49.57).
Current world season leader Lashinda Demus of USA confirmed her position with 54.71 sec win in the women’s 400m Hurdles and behind her there was another British athlete who improved, Eilidh Child to 55.46 beating Olympic finalist Yekatarina Bikert of Russia (55.83).
Ethiopian takes the Memorial race title
US Stephanie Durst came close to her own meet record by 0.01 in winning the 200m in 22.75 sec (wind -0.6m/s), clearly beating her current main rival on the circuit Laverne Jones of US Virgin Islands (22.92).
Jamaican Steve Mullings won the men’s 100m final in a solid 10.21sec (-0.7) ahead of US sprinters Marcus Brunson (10.24) and Phil De Rosier (10.25).
In the main running event, the Josef Odlozil Memorial 1500m, Ethiopian Dawit Wolde was the winner in a close finish (3:38.71) ahead of French Abdeslam Kennouche (3:38.76).
Briton Jenny Meadows beat a solid women’s 800m field with 2:00.76 ahead of World Indoor medallist Tetyana Petlyuk of Ukraine (2:01.25) and Czech Lenka Masna who improved to 2:01.33.
In the men’s 3000m Steeplechase, Kenya’s Collins Kosgei was out-sprinted by Ethiopian Lamiso Legesse who clocked a PB 8:20.58. Kosgei who is the meeting record holder as second in 8:22.84.
Krisztian Pars of Hungary remains unbeaten in hammer and in fifth out of his six meets of the year went over 80 metres again, this time with 80.40m. In another high quality field Dilshod Nazarov of Tajikistan was second (78.41).
World silver medalist Romain Mesnil took the Pole Vault with 5.70m on his third attempt, while Ukrainian Maksim Mazuryk cleared 5.60 for second place.
Russians dominated the Shot Put as Anton Lyuboslavskiy (20.56m) and Pavel Sofin (20.31) achieved seasonal best marks ahead of Hungarian Lajos Kurthy (20.16) with European champion Ralf Bartels only fifth (19.92).
Elsewhere on the programme, Yvette Lewis (USA) won the 100m Hurdles, 12.99 sec (-0.8), Ukrainian Natalya Semenova beat a strong Discus field with 62.57m and Briton Kate Dennison improved to a new national record of 4.51m in the Pole Vault in the pre-programme.
The crowd heavily supported Roman Novotny in long jump and he was leading with 7.85. until last round when Stephan Louw of Namibia was better with 7.95 (0.0).
Decathlon World record holder Roman Sebrle tested his shape with 14.81sec in the Hurdles, 7.26m in Long Jump and 14.21m in the Shot Put. His next Decathlon will be later in the month in Kladno.
Alfons Juck for the IAAF
Click here for RESULTS