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Spotakova confirms Helsinki 2012

Spotakova confirms Helsinki 2012 plans to set up probable battle with Abakumova

Barbora Spotakova

Barbora Spotakova

Czech Republic’s 2008 Olympic Games javelin champion and world record holder Barbora Špotáková was among the Prague delegation which successfully convinced the European Athletics Council that the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships should be held in the city.

Špotáková also revealed over the weekend that while she may not be able to compete in that championship, at least not in her specialist discipline although she was fourth in the 2000 World Junior Championships heptathlon before concentrating her energies on the javelin and so might have some other options open to her, she will definitely be in Helsinki this summer.

“I am preparing for two peaks this season: the Helsinki 2012 European Athletics Championships and the London Olympics. I would like to succeed in both events,” said the Czech army officer in Sofia on Saturday.

One of the reasons why Špotáková wants to compete in Helsinki is that she has achieved everything the sport has to offer, having also been the 2007 world champion, apart from winning a European Athletics Championships gold medal.

She took the silver medal six years ago in Göteborg behind Germany’s Steffi Nerius – when her then national record of 66.12m in the qualifying round would have won if she had been able to repeat it in the final – and then had to settle for third place in Barcelona in 2010.

If Špotáková does succeed in Helsinki then it will provide an early birthday present for her. She turns 31 on June 30, the day after the women’s javelin final.

The 2012 European Athletics Championships will be staged in the Finnish capital from 27 June to 1 July.

It is now distinctly possible that Špotáková will face her regular sparring partner, Russia’s reigning world champion Mariya Abakumova, in Helsinki after the Russian athletics federation’s decision on Friday to automatically select its 2011 world champions for the Olympic Games.

This means that the likes of Abakumova would not be required to compete at the Russian Championships, which will be held in Cheboksary from 3-6 July, to ensure their place in London, freeing up their participation in the Finnish capital.

Abakumova indicated earlier this year that she would like to be at the European Athletics Championships if it were possible. Now it is.

The pair had an epic battle at the World Championships last summer. Abakumova unleashed a huge Russian record of 71.25m in the second round but three rounds later
Špotáková responded with 71.58m, the third longest throw ever seen.

However, Abakumova straight away sent another stunning effort out to 71.99m and clinched the gold medal, moving up to second place on the world and European all-time ranking behind her Czech rival.

A repeat performance from both women would be a worthy spectacle to grace Helsinki’s historic Olympic Stadium, which has seen many great javelin contests, and would doubtless be hugely enjoyed by the audience as Finnish athletics fans are renowned around the world for their appreciation of javelin throwing.


  1. […] Spotakova confirms Helsinki 2012 is a post from: Time-to-Run Europe […]

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