Illustrative photo – Czech Indoor Athletics Championships, February 18, 2023 in Ostrava. Amálie Švábíková won the pole vault.
Istanbul – Shot putter Tomáš Staněk will traditionally be the leader of the Czech athletics team at the European Indoor Championships. He has always won a medal at the last three championships and will defend his two-year-old title from Torun in Istanbul. Other Czech representatives also have a chance of success, for example pole vaulter Amálie Švábíková. The championship will take place in Turkey from Thursday to Sunday.
A total of 15 Czech athletes will participate. In the end, sprinter Jan Veleba will not start due to an injury. National team head coach Pavel Sluka believes in good placements. “I assume that the leader of the expedition will be Tomáš Staněk, who is defending the gold from the last European Championship. I think that Amálie Švábíková or Lada Vondrová are also very well positioned to participate in the finals, and I am also looking forward to the heptathlon played by Ondřej Kopecky,” he said at the association facebook.
The fourth-place finisher Vondrová significantly improved her indoor personal record to 51.57 seconds, which places her in fourth place among those registered. Before the championship, she did not want to fixate on a specific position. “I would like to repeat the run from Ostrava (at the MČR), stabilize my form and confirm that I am able to run under 52 (seconds). We'll see where it takes me. I don't want to tie myself up like I did before. I'll go there with the she gave her best performance, and we'll see what it takes,” she said at the press conference.
The best Czech miler Filip Sasínek, who advanced to the finals of the 1500 meters race at the HME in all three starts and won bronze six years ago, can attack for another success. “Advancing to the finals is difficult every time. The 15-man team and the whole athletics are moving in an unreal way. It is definitely (advancing) always a little more difficult. However, I think, even given my experience, that I can believe that I know how to do it, ” he said.
His partner Kristiina Mäki, who was sixth at the summer EC in Munich, struggled with health problems in the indoor season and only got into the nomination thanks to a wild card. Then she took a running test to make sure she was fit to race in Istanbul. “The tests went well, so I hope the races will also go well,” she said in a press release.
World pole vault record holder Armand Duplantis is missing from the European Indoor Championships, but there are other stars. Among the brightest is the Dutchwoman Femke Bolová, whose main discipline is the long hurdles, but in the hall she deprived Jarmila Kratochvílova of the year-old world record for the smooth quarter. Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen will try for another double at 1500 and 3000 meters, who at the age of 22 can already win eleven major senior titles.
Seven Olympic champions from Tokyo have entered. Among them is also Karsten Warholm, who, after his absence the year before last, can follow up on his triumph from 2019 in the 400 meter race. Only Matěj Krsek will be competing this time among the Czech quarter runners. The three-time European indoor champion Pavel Maslák and the fifth man of last year's HMS Patrik Šorm lost the indoor season due to health problems, and Vít Müller gave up the nomination to prepare for the summer obstacle season.