Updates: 03.03.2021 12:33
Released: 03.03.2021, 12:33
Toruń (Poland) / Prague – Athletes are waiting for the first top event since the Doha World Championships in autumn 2019. At the indoor European Championships, which will start on Thursday in Toruń, Poland, Czech athletes also have ambitions for a leading position. Two years ago in Glasgow, the only medal was won by the bowler Tomáš Staněk, who finished third.
At that time, Pavel Maslák, a three-time indoor champion of the world and Europe in the 400-meter run, was missing due to illness. He returns as the second man in the European tables and in the absence of defending champion Karsten Warholm is one of the favorites. “I aim for every medal, especially after two years I will be happy for the finals as well. But if I were in the finals and did not have a medal, I would be disappointed,” said Maslák, whose last big event was the 2018 European Championships.
Staněk, who has always won a medal at the last three top indoor events, will also want to build on the indoor successes. He has silver and bronze from HME 2017 and 2019 and silver from HMS 2018. He put together an injured thigh muscle, due to which he was absent from the national championship.
Milestone Filip Sasínek is in life form, whose Czech record of 3: 36.53 ranks seventh in this year’s European tables. The 25-year-old Czech national team has had the greatest success from the hall, it was bronze at HME 2017 in Belgrade and the fourth two years ago in Glasgow.
The favorite of the fifteen-piece will be the newly bred indoor European record holder Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who at the beginning of February with a time of 3: 31.80 lagged behind the world record of Ethiopian Samuel Tefera. Marcin Lewandowski from Poland will defend the title, another domestic competitor Michal Rozmys has also shown good form this year. In the absence of the second man of the European tables, Jake Wightman, the British will rely on Neil Gourley, who has the third best time of the registered competitors.
There will be a total of 23 Czech representatives in Torun. “I will be satisfied if everyone creates this year’s maximum. If some show it, we have a couple of medals. But medals are always very difficult to talk about. We can certainly expect quite a few final places,” said team leader Jan Netscher.
He regretted the absence of two experienced competitors forced by health reasons. The European Indoor Champion for 60 meters hurdles from 2011 Petr Svoboda cannot start due to a painful Achilovka, a silver long-distance from Prague’s HME 2015 Radek Juška deprived the disease of the peak of the season.
A total of 733 athletes from 47 countries are registered. “I am glad that the number of registered athletes was a record. It shows the appetite that everyone has to race,” said Libor Varhaník, chairman of the Czech Athletics Association and vice-president of European Athletics.
The duel of pole vault Armand Duplantis and Renaud Lavillenie will be a big draw from competitions without Czech participation. The world record holder and the world’s best athlete of 2020 Duplantis is again in great shape, dominating this year’s tables with an output of 610 centimeters. The 34-year-old Frenchman Lavillenie is again a six-meter jumper again in the Olympic season, the last time he crossed this border in the hall five years ago. He scored 606 inches at the weekend.
Due to anti-coronavirus measures, the championship in Toruń will take place in an isolated “bubble” and without spectators.