European Indoor Athletics Championships in Istanbul, Men's All-Around, 60m Hurdles, March 5, 2023. Kevin Mayer of France, center, Hans-Christian Hausenberg of Estonia, left, and Ondřej Kopecký of the Czech Republic, right.
Istanbul – Distance runner Radek Juška was six centimeters away from a medal at the European Indoor Championships. He showed his best performance of the season of 794 centimeters and took fifth place in Istanbul. The third indoor European title in a row was won by the Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglu from Greece, who jumped 830 centimeters on his first attempt. The relay team of four-legged girls Tereza Petržilková, Marcela Pírková, Nikola Bendová, Lada Vondrová was fourth, losing almost two seconds on the medal. Ondřej Kopecký finished the heptathlon in sixth place.
Eight years after silver at HME in Prague, Juška attacked another valuable metal in Istanbul. Behind Tentoglu and Swede Thobias Montler, who reached 819 centimeters, there was a battle for bronze. The experienced Czech representative, who competed in the championship thanks to the association's wild card, had the upper hand in the beginning. He reached third place in the second series thanks to 785 centimeters, and in the fourth he improved by nine centimeters.
However, Romanian Gabriel Bitan pushed him out of the medal position in the fifth series with an eight-meter jump, and then Bulgarian Božidar Sarabojukov (797) got in front of him. Juška was attacking, but the long final attempt was misplaced. “It's a shame, it was close. But I can't be dissatisfied with the fact that I didn't even know if I was going to jump half a pole,” Juška told Czech Television.
He struggled with back problems in the winter. “It stopped me twice in preparation. I'm missing two months of training. You could tell. We did everything to make sure I bounced and bounced well. I think I made a nice point,” praised Josef Karas' ward.
< p>The coveted precious metal wasn't even obtained by the quarter coins. Just like in the individual final, Petržilková started from the disadvantageous first lane. “It was physically demanding, the fourth quarter and still in the first lane,” she lamented. Pírková did not maintain contact with the medal positions in the second section. “I knew I had to keep in touch with Italy, so I tried to get hold of her. Unfortunately, I missed it,” she regretted.
Even Bendová, who, like Pírková, runs shorter distances, did not make it out of the sixth place. The finisher Vondrová could not do better than fourth place with an excellent flight time of 51.25. “I think we all wanted more. I was far away, I left everything there and it just wasn't possible anymore,” she said.
The favored Dutch women won with Lieke Klaverová and the finishing world record holder Femke Bolová. She ran to the final stretch together with two other relay teams, but in the end, with a championship record of 3:25.66, she gave the other Italian women almost three seconds. Bronze was won by Poland.
Vícebojař Kopecký also fell short of his potential in the hurdles, with a performance of 8.15, he placed seventh in this discipline and continuously maintained eighth position. Also in the pole vault, Kopecký tried in vain to reach the season's maximum of five meters. He registered 480 centimeters, but due to failure and injuries of two rivals, he moved to sixth position.
He kept it in the final kilometer. His total score of 5,792 points was more than 200 points lower than at the home championship, where he broke 6,000 points for the first time in his career. “Sixth place is great. That was the goal, but I thought it would be a bit higher (in points). I'm not satisfied with the performance. But I gained a lot of experience, maybe I'll do some things differently. It was my first event, so good ,” said the twenty-four-year-old all-rounder.
After he lost the highlights of the season last year due to injury, he and coach Roman Šebrl did not take too many risks when tuning his form. “We took it a lot on the health side, we didn't go so much to the edge,” Kopecký added.
The third European indoor champion title was won by European record holder Kévin Mayer from France. He collected 6348 points and left twenty-year-old Nor Sander Skotheim behind by thirty points. The Estonian Risto Lillemets (6079) advanced to the bronze position in the final kilometer.
Results of the European Indoor Championships in Athletics
Distance: 1. Tentoglu (Greece) 830, 2. Montler (Sweden) 819, 3. Bitan (Romania) 800, ..5. Juška (ČR) 794.
Heptathlon (after 6 disciplines): 1. Mayer 5521 (60m: 6.85 – distance: 741 – ball: 15.81 – height: 198 – 60m forward: 7.76 – pole: 530), 2. Skotheim (Nor.) 5420 (7.05 – 760 – 14.09 – 219 – 8.05 – 500), 3. Eitel (German) 5222 (6.81 – 719 – 15.27 – 201 – 8.15 – 480), … 6. Kopecký (ČR) 4977 (7.09 – 736 – 13.57 – 192 – 8.15 – 480).
Height: 1. Mahučichová (Ukraine) 198, 2. Weermanová (Netherlands) 196, 3. Tabašnyková (Ukraine) 194.