Javelin great Barbora Špotáková ends career, her world record still unbeaten

Bára Špotáková

Two-time Olympic champion and world-record holder Barbora Špotáková officially announced that she is ending her professional career as a javelin thrower on Friday. Špotáková is one of the most successful sportswomen in Czech history.

Few Czech athletes have been able to continuously deliver top-level results like 41-year-old Barbora Špotáková has. The Jablonec-born athlete first came to international prominence in 2006, when she won silver at the European Championships in Göteborg, Sweden. She would go on to win the World Championships in Osaka a year later, adding two more gold medals and a silver at subsequent World Championships tournaments during her career.

However, her two most marked successes were the gold medals she won in Beijing and London, continuing the strong reputation of Czech athletes in the discipline established by Jan Železný. At the subsequent games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 she would add bronze to her Olympic collection.

Announcing the end of her career at Prague’s U Pinkasů pub on Friday, Špotáková told journalists that every fairy tale has its end, “but this fairy tale has a beautiful happy ending.” Her world record throw of 72.28 metres, which she set in the female category in Stuttgart in 2008, still holds.