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Jan Železný (Czech pronunciation: [jan ˈʒɛlɛzniː] (About this soundlisten); born 16 June 1966) is a retired Czech track and field athlete who competed in the javelin throw. He was a World and Olympic Champion and holds the world record with a throw of 98.48 m. Widely considered to be the greatest javelin thrower of the modern era, he also has the second, third and fourth best performances of all time.[1]

Jan Železný
Železný 2012.JPG
Personal information
Born (1966-06-16) 16 June 1966 (age 53)
Mladá Boleslav, Czechoslovakia
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight87 kg (192 lb; 13.7 st)
CountryCzechoslovakia (1987–1992)
Czech Republic (1993–2006)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)Javelin Throw
Turned pro1986
Now coachingVítězslav Veselý
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)WR 98.48 m (1996)
Updated on 6 July 2012.



Železný was born in Mladá Boleslav, Czechoslovakia. He won the gold at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympic Games and silver in the 1988 Olympics as well as three World Championship titles; in 1993, 1995 and 2001.

Železný holds the world record, at 98.48 metres (323 ft 1 in) set in 1996, and the World Championships record of 92.80 m, set in 2001. On 26 March 1997 in Stellenbosch, South Africa Železný threw 5 times over the 90m barrier in a single meeting. Železný is also the only athlete to throw more than 95 meters with the new type of javelin, something he achieved three times.[1]

During his career he has had many great battles against the likes of Steve Backley, Sergey Makarov, Boris Henry, Seppo Räty, Raymond Hecht and Aki Parviainen.

He planned to retire after the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg, where he won the bronze with a throw of 85.92 m. He took leave of his career on 19 September 2006 on exhibition in Mladá Boleslav, the place where he started with athletics.

He coaches Vítězslav Veselý,[2] and he used to coach Barbora Špotáková.[3]

International competitionsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing   Czechoslovakia
1983 European Junior Championships Schwechat, Austria 6th Javelin (old) 71.26 m
1985 European Junior Championships Cottbus, East Germany 4th Javelin (old) 75.10 m
1986 European Championships Stuttgart, West Germany 18th (q) Javelin 75.90 m
1987 World Championships Rome, Italy 3rd Javelin 82.20 m
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 2nd Javelin 84.12 m
1990 European Championships Split, Yugoslavia 13th (q) Javelin 77.64 m
1991 World Championships Tokyo, Japan 18th (q) Javelin 76.26 m
1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain 1st Javelin 89.66 m
Representing the   Czech Republic
1993 World Championships Stuttgart, Germany 1st Javelin 85.98 m
1994 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 3rd Javelin 82.58 m
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 1st Javelin 89.58 m
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 1st Javelin 88.16 m
1997 World Championships Athens, Greece 9th Javelin 82.04 m
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 3rd Javelin 87.67 m
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 1st Javelin 90.17 m
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Canada 1st Javelin 92.80 m
Goodwill Games Brisbane, Australia 1st Javelin 87.52 m
2002 European Championships Munich, Germany 11th Javelin NM
2003 World Championships Paris, France 4th Javelin 84.09 m
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 9th Javelin 80.59 m
2006 European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 3rd Javelin 85.92 m

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "IAAF toplists". IAAF.
  2. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (7 June 2012). "Bolt's 9.79 victory tops the charts In Oslo – Samsung Diamond League". IAAF. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  3. ^ Špotáková končí spolupráci s trenérem Železným Retrieved 4 August 2012.

External linksEdit