The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
A performance which proved more nervewracking than any she had endured before was enough to bring Samsung Diamond League Ambassador Barbora Spotakova the Trophy she had been set on winning all season – despite the elbow injury which undermined her form in the latter part of the season. That night in Zurich was one the Olympic champion will never forget.
“I think I was more nervous before my final Diamond League event in Zurich than I was before the Beijing Olympics. And winning the Diamond Trophy was the second best thing I have done in my sport after winning the Olympic title, because it was such a long, hard competition and I had to worry about an injury through much of it.
“I was very well prepared physically before Zurich, but I was very nervous about my injured elbow, as I hadn’t thrown since the Diamond League meeting in London, when I hurt my elbow more and had to leave the competition early.
“I didn’t even dare to throw the javelin in the warm-up. I have never felt so much pressure.
“I was most nervous before my first throw. When I threw, and the distance was only 54.78, I thought ‘Now it’s all over’. But then I thought ‘My elbow is holding up. I can do another throw with it.’
“Even though I was in the lead on points going into the final competition in Zurich, it wasn’t so easy. I still had to fight a lot.
“Luckily my main rival, Kara Patterson, messed up! It was a very bad performance from her – I didn’t expect such a horrible performance from her. After the third round she had to leave the competition and at that point I was happy because I knew I was the Diamond Trophy winner.
“Although I didn’t have to carry on I wanted to give the crowd something, because they were so supportive, and I also had some friends who had come to watch me in the stadium. So I was very glad that I managed to throw 65.34 with my last attempt to finish second on the night, because even then I felt it would be the last throw of my season.
“The Continental Cup in Split was an exciting competition with big prize money, but I felt I had to withdraw from it in order to concentrate on getting back to full fitness.
“In training, I never finish on an ugly throw. Even if I have to throw 20 times to find a good last throw. I was glad to go out on a high in Zurich.
“Now it’s good, because I don’t have to throw the javelin for a couple of months, and it doesn’t hurt that much in normal life.
“I have been off on holiday since in the Czech Republic, with Lukas, my boyfriend. We were roller skating, and cycling. We had a lot of fun. I didn’t have to think about competition for a while.
“So I am enjoying my break. Tomorrow I will play a football match at my club – where I will be the only woman!
” I have followed football for years. Steven Gerrard, Liverpool’s England player, is probably my favourite.
“I play up front, and I like to score goals. Every year I have to score a goal against the men...
“This Diamond League competition has been a very good one, but it has been very tough. If you are in a competition and you are still injured it is hard, and there are many events, all of which are important.
“Being a Diamond League Ambassador was an extra pressure for me. I took it very seriously and it made me try even harder to win the Diamond Trophy. So I am very satisfied.