Czech distance runner Radek Juška during his qualifying attempt at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul on March 3, 2023.
Istanbul – Shot putter Tomáš Staněk extended his medal streak at the European Indoor Championships. In Istanbul, while defending his title from Torun, he won silver and has the fourth valuable metal from this top event in a row. Czech athletics will have triple representation in Saturday's final of the 400 meters. Matěj Krsek, Lada Vondrová and, surprisingly, also Tereza Petržilková deserved it.
In a high-quality competition, Staněk needed a performance of 21.90 meters to win silver, which is his best indoor performance since the Czech record of 22.17 from 2018. He was beaten only by the Italian Zane Weir, who became the first European to break the twenty-two-meter mark this season, by six centimeters. Jan Friš took eighth place in the 1,500 m run in a season's best of 3:40.86.
After a troubled qualification, Staněk attacked in the second series, when by improving the season's best by 21 centimeters to 21.90, he surpassed the current leader by one centimeter Italian. Weir immediately returned it to him in the third attempt and the Czech record holder did not improve.
After the final, Staněk was happy, but also had somewhat conflicting feelings. “I definitely believed that I had Weir. That I could throw in a character. I really wanted to, unfortunately it didn't work out,” he regretted in an interview with Czech Television.
The 31-year-old bowler was appreciative of having put in his best performance at the top event. Two years ago, he triumphed with a performance of 21.62 meters. “I'm very happy that I threw this far at the event, it's an upward trend. I was definitely part of the best competition in history in terms of medals. It never happened before, even in the world, that you throw 21.90 and someone he boned him,” noted Staněk, who competes in an exceptionally strong shot put generation.
Just like in Belgrade 2017, Staněk won a silver medal. Only the Ukrainian Roman Kokoško came close to him, who in the final series pushed the national record to 21.84 meters.
Milař Friš did not accept the pace of favored Nor Jakob Ingebrigtsen at the beginning of the final and gradually fell to the bottom of the group that avoided the fall of two runners in the beginning. “I needed to go my own way, so I was falling behind the pack. That may have given me the strength to collect those people in the end,” said Friš, who moved from tenth to eighth at the finish. “It's an improvement on the time from yesterday and it's an improvement on the position from Torun. “The eight always counts. The final was already amazing and this is just the cherry on top,” added the 27-year-old Czech representative.
As expected, Ingebrigtsen dominated the 15-man race, who won by 28 hundredths of a second ahead of the chasing Briton Neil Gourley in a championship record of 3:33.95.
The best pentathlon competition in history was on display all day. The Belgian Nafissatou Thiam won it with a world record of 5055 points. She surpassed by 42 points the performance of Ukraine's Natalie Dobryňska from the 2012 World Indoor Championships, which was also held in Istanbul. The value of the former world record was exceeded by one point today by the second Pole, Adrianna Suleková.
Two-time Olympic winner in the heptathlon Thiam improved her personal record in the indoor pentathlon by 151 points. Personal records in the shot put (15.54) and in the final eight (2:13.60) helped her to achieve this, among other things.
The Belgian star made history a few months after changing her coach. In the fall, she started training under the guidance of Michael van der Plaetsen and already had a lot of confidence before the competition, even though it was her first all-around of the season. “I had that record in my head. It's nice that I was able to perform like that, even if all the disciplines were not perfect,” said Thiam on the championship website, for whom the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are the main engine.
In the final eight, Suleková tried to attack her, who won in a personal record of 2:07.17. But it wasn't enough for her to win the title, which the 23-year-old Pole had a hard time bearing. “I really wanted the world record and I did everything for it. I didn't expect Nafissatou to fight in this style. I will keep working hard. This is a small loss. I hope to be the best in the world in the future,” she confided.
The 60 was won by reigning world indoor champion Mujinga Kambundji from Switzerland, who equaled the 37-year-old championship record of Nelli Cooman of the Netherlands with a performance of 7.00 seconds.
Krsek, Vondrová and Petržilková made it to the Thursday finals
Krsek improved his personal record to 46.03 seconds in the semi-finals and advanced from second place. The debutant at the indoor EC had time to recover after the morning run. “Even during the warm-up, I felt that I wasn't tired. I really liked the run. Compared to the start, it was completely controlled. It was such a conscious run,” he told Czech Television. In the final, he can build on the successes of the former king of the indoor quarterfinals, Pavel Maslák, or last year's fifth place of Patrik Šorm at the indoor WC. These Czech fourth-placers did not compete indoors this year due to health problems.
Vondrová confirmed her paper assumptions in her semi-final and secured third place behind Lieke Klaverová from the Netherlands and Anna Kielbasiňska from Poland. She finished in 52.12. “I didn't run very well, but I knew I was third by quite a bit, so that's good. I want to run fast in the final. We'll see what it takes,” she noted.
Petržilková had to fight the most for advancement. She pushed her way to the third place in the finish line. “I knew that the third place was mine. I knew that I had what it took. It was a nice wilderness. There were a lot of contacts, a lot of big time losses,” said the runner, who was significantly behind with a performance of 52.93 past his prime. Her semifinal was won by world record holder Femke Bolová from the Netherlands.
Thiamová dominated the pentathlon with a world record 5055 points
Belgian Nafissatou Thiam is the new indoor world record holder in athletics pentathlon. She won the European title with a performance of 5,055 points, which by 42 points exceeded the all-time record of Ukraine's Natalie Dobryňská from the 2012 World Indoor Championships, which was also held in the Turkish capital. The value of the former world record was surpassed today by a point by the second Pole, Adrianna Suleková.
Thiam, a two-time Olympic champion in the heptathlon, improved her personal record in the indoor pentathlon by 151 points. Personal records in the shot put (15.54) and in the final eight (2:13.60) helped her to achieve this, among other things. It was in the last discipline that Suleková tried to attack her, who won in a personal record of 2:07.17. But it was not enough for her to win the title.
Bronze in the best pentathlon competition in history was won by Thiam's compatriot Noor Vidtsová (4823).
Results of the European Indoor Championships in Athletics
1500 m: 1. J. Ingebrigtsen (Nor.) 3:33.95, 2. Gourley (Brit.) 3:34.23, 3. Habz (Fr.) 3:35.39, …8. Friš (Czech Republic) 3:40.86.
Triple jump: 1. Pichardo (Portugal) 17.60, 2. Andrikopulos (Greece) 16.58, 3. Hess (Germany) 16.57.
Balls: 1. Weir (It.) 22.06, 2. Staněk (CZ) 21.90, 3. Kokoško (Ukraine) 21.84.
60 m: 1. M. Kambundjiová (Switzerland) 7.00, 2. Swobodová (Poland) 7.09, 3. Neitaová (Brit.) 7.12.
3000 m: 1. Klein 8:35.87, 2. Klosterhalfen (both German) 8:36.50, 3. Courtney-Bryan (Brit.) 8:41.19.
Balls: 1. Dongmová (Portugal) 19.76, 2nd Gambettaová (German) 18.83, 3rd Roosová (Swedish) 18.42.
Pentathlon: 1. Thiamová (Belg.) 5055 – world record (60 m b.: 8.23 - height: 192 – ball: 15.54 – distance 659 – 800 m: 2:13.60), 2. Suleková (Pol.) 5014 (8.21 – 189 – 13.89 – 662 – 2:07.17), 3. Vidtsová (Belg.) 4823 (8.21 – 183 – 14.12 – 655 – 2:14.52).
400 m: 1. Warholm (Nor.) 45.43, …5. Krsek (ČR) 46.03 – advanced to the final.
400 m: 1. Klaverová (Niz.) 51.43, …3. Vondrová 52.12, 6. Petržilková (both Czech Republic) 52.93 – both advanced to the final.
Qualifications and heats with Czech participation:
400 m: 1. Warholm (Nor.) 45.75, 2. Krsek (Czech Republic) 46.23 – advanced to the semi-finals.
Distance: 1. Montler (Swed.) 814, …7. Juška (ČR) 786 – advanced to the final.
400 m: 1. Kielbasiňská (Pol.) 51.77, 2. Petržilková 52.14, …8. Vondrová (both Czech Republic) 52.77 – both advanced to the semi-finals.
1500 m: 1. Boboceaová (Romania) 4:07.93, .. .9. Mäki (Czech Republic) 4:10.86 – advanced to the final.
Bar: 1. Murtová (Fin.) and Šutejová (Slovenia) both 455, …7. i.a. Švábíková (ČR) 445 – advanced to the final.