Sports News

Roman Sebrle and his family, photo: CTK

Roman Sebrle is one of the Czech Republic's leading athletes. Last year he made history, becoming the first decathlete ever to breach the 9,000 points barrier. This season too Sebrle has had a great deal of success; in March he took the gold in the heptathlon at the European indoor championships, and just last month he became the first Czech in decades to win gold at the European Outdoor Championships, this time in the decathlon. And Sebrle, who is 28, has also experienced joy in his personal life; last Wednesday his wife gave birth to their first child, a boy they have named Stepan. Ian Willoughby spoke to a very happy Roman Sebrle earlier this week, and asked him what had been the highlight of his season.

"I had two successes, the first one is European championships, indoor and outdoor. And the second is the birth of my son."

Were you at the birth of your son? Were you there?

"Yes, I was - all the time."

You didn't feel weak or faint or anything?

"No, no, no, no. If I see blood it's OK for me, but if I see the pain of my wife it's worse for me. It was very emotional and very nice."

On Friday you participated in the Berlin Golden League; could you concentrate?

"No, absolutely not, because it was too soon after the birth and I was thinking about my son and about my wife and if I want to compete, if I don't want to compete, and absolutely not concentrated. But I think it doesn't matter to win this competition because it's in the Golden League and it's like an exhibition. And I think it's for fun, not to win."

You have the world record points in the decathlon. You are the European Champion, the first Czech European Champion for many years - are you still motivated?

"Yes, of course, of course. I haven't got a medal from the world championships. And I haven't got the world indoor record. And I haven't got a gold medal in the Olympic Games, and that's a very big motivation for me. And of course to defeat my world record, too."

Roman Sebrle and his family, photo: CTK
You are a member of the (Czech Army's) Dukla sports team? You're also a soldier, is that right?

"Yes, yes, I'm a soldier."

Are you active as a soldier? Do you have to do training as a soldier, or anything like that?

"No, no, no. Just training like a sports man. Sometimes I take a uniform and I feel more like a soldier."

But if there was a war you wouldn't have to fight?

"I don't think so."

And Roman Sebrle isn't the only famous Czech athlete who is a member of the Czech Army's Dukla sports team - fellow decathlete Tomas Dvorak and the king of the javelin, Jan Zelezny, also compete for Dukla.