Barbora Špotáková

Barbora Špotáková (Czech pronunciation: [ˈbarbora ˈʃpotaːkovaː]; born 30 June 1981) is a Czech track and field athlete who competes in the javelin throw. She is a two-time Olympic Champion and three-time World Champion, as well as the current world record holder with a throw of 72.28 m.

Barbora Špotáková
Barbora Špotáková.jpg
Barbora Špotáková
Personal information
Born (1981-06-30) 30 June 1981 (age 39)
Jablonec nad Nisou, Czechoslovakia
Height1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Weight80 kg (176 lb)[1]
Country Czech Republic
Event(s)Javelin throw


Špotáková was an All-American during her one season at the University of Minnesota in 2001-02[2][3] and won the silver medal at the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg.

Špotáková improved the Czech national record (previously 66.21 m held by herself since 2006) twice in the final of the 2007 World Championships in Osaka. She took an early lead for 66.40 m in the first attempt and secured the gold medal in the third attempt (67.07 m) before German Christina Obergföll (66.46 m). Špotáková became the seventh woman in the world to reach the 67 m mark. More importantly, she became the Olympic winner in 2008 with her last throw, 71.42 m, which then was the new European record.

At the 2008 IAAF World Athletics Final on 13 September 2008, Špotáková broke the world record in the first round to win the competition with a throw of 72.28 m.

Špotáková was a heptathlete in her early career, finishing fourth at the 2000 World Junior Championships. Špotáková also won the International Combined Events Meeting in Hexham in 2000 before she went on to study in the USA and specialise in Javelin throwing. She is currently a member of the elite ASO (Armádní sportovní oddíl, Army Sport Group) of Dukla Prague. Until the end of the 2010 season she was coached by Rudolf Černý, who led her from a national elite level heptathlete to the World Record in the Women's Javelin. Prior to the 2011 season it was announced that Jan Železný would take over as her coach.[4] At the end of 2010 she won the Czech federation's annual poll for "Athlete of the year" for the fourth year in a row.[4] Then she won it again in 2011, making it five years in a row. Barbora Špotáková is consecutive winner of 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.

Špotáková gave birth to a son Janek in May 2013 and did not compete at the world championships in Moscow later that year.[5]

In 2014, Špotáková finally captured the one major title to have eluded her, winning the European Championships in Zürich, Switzerland with a throw of 64.41 m.[6]

Špotáková reunited with her former coach Rudolf Černý in 2015 to train for The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, where she won the bronze medal with a throw of 64.80m.


Špotáková is a fan of Czech rock band "Tři Sestry" (Three Sisters). Before the Olympic Games in 2008, their leader Lou Fanánek Hagen announced that if she wins the gold medal, the band will record a song in her honor. After she had indeed won the Olympics, Tři Sestry recorded a song called "Čtvrtá sestra" (The fourth sister) celebrating her triumph.


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing the   Czech Republic
2000 World Junior Championships Santiago, Chile 4th 5689 pts (Heptathlon)
2003 European U23 Championships Bydgoszcz, Poland 6th 56.65 m
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 23rd 58.20 m
2005 Universiade İzmir, Turkey 1st 60.73 m
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 5th 61.60 m
2006 European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd 66.12 m PB
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st 66.21 m NR
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 1st 67.07 m NR
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st 67.12 m NR
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 1st 71.42 m AR
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st 72.28 m WR
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 2nd 66.42 m
World Athletics Final Thessaloniki, Greece 2nd 63.45 m
2010 European Championships Barcelona, Spain 3rd 65.36 m
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 1st 71.58 m; [7]
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 1st 69.55 m
2014 European Championships Zurich, Switzerland 1st 64.41 m
IAAF Continental Cup Marrakesh, Morocco 1st 65.52 m
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 9th 60.08 m
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3rd 64.80 m
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 1st 66.76 m
2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 9th 59.87 m


  1. ^ a b Barbora Špotáková.
  2. ^ Deutsch, Brian (2 July 2008), "Gophers assistant coach punches Olympic ticket" Archived 14 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine The Minnesota Daily
  3. ^ "Spotakova Set for Olympic Games" Golden Gophers (August 10, 2016)
  4. ^ a b "Špotáková crowned Czech athlete of the year for 4th straight year". European Athletics. 7 November 2010. Archived from the original on 10 November 2010. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  5. ^ Butcher, Michael. Bouncing back after giving birth, Spotakova surprises herself on her return. IAAF (24 September 2013). Retrieved on 18 August 2014.
  6. ^ Ramsak, Bob. Spotakova completes her gold collection with European title. IAAF (14 August 2014). Retrieved on 19 August 2014.
  7. ^ gold medal inherited in 2018 after Mariya Abakumova’s disqualification for doping Ruth Fraňková (5 September 2018). "Špotáková to inherit 2011 World Championships title". Radio Prague. Retrieved 14 September 2018.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
  Christina Obergföll
Women's javelin european record holder
21 August 2008 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
  Osleidys Menéndez
Women's javelin world record holder
13 September 2008 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Martina Sáblíková
Petra Kvitová
Czech Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Martina Sáblíková
Zuzana Hejnová