High hopes as Czech athletes leave for London
The Czech Olympic teams are off for London, where their chances are thought to be excellent in more than half a dozen disciplines. Special flights took 66 Czech Athletes to the British capital on Tuesday, and President Václav Klaus and several government ministers are planning to visit over the coming days.
“I guess it can’t get any better for me than playing on grass at Wimbledon, it’s a great advantage for me that the tennis events will be held there. I’m going to try to win a medal, that’s the greatest goal, and I believe that either in the singles or in the doubles it will happen.”
Another serious contender is cyclist Jaroslav Kulhavý who won the world cross country championship last year and the European championships the last two years. The javelin could belong to the Czechs this year. Reigning gold medallist from Beijing Barbora Špotáková is back after adding two second place world championships victories to her resume. Her fellow thrower 29-year-old Vítězslav Veselý, who came in first in this year’s European championships, is also considered one to follow.
Veteran Olympians Štěpánka Hilghertová and Roman Šebrle are back for the sixth and fourth times, respectively. Canoer Hilghertová will be seeking her third gold and decathlete Šebrle his third medal. The consistently successful rower Ondřej Synek will also be back for his third Olympic games, having won the silver in Beijing and the world championship in 2010.