Told about Josef Odložil Memorial

Dear fans of athletics, the queen of sports, please allow me to invite you all to the 23rd Josef Odlozil Memorial, a sporting event that has embedded itself amongst the traditional and prestigious ones, and one that we can no longer imagine Prague’s sporting calendar without.

Prague is the European Capital of Sport for 2016. This title is not awarded for the number of sporting events held, but for the support of sport for all that are interested in a healthy lifestyle and self improvement; this also inseparably includes work with children and teenagers. And I hope that as many young budding athletes as possible will make their way to the Juliska grandstand to be inspired and motivated by the competitors’ feats, to further their own sporting development.

Personally I feel that this is one of the main purposes and benefits of staging an event such as the Josef Odlozil Memorial and other sporting events in general. And for this reason it is my pleasure to grant my patronage to this event. At the same time I would like to thank the organizers, and I wish for many quality sporting feats.

Adriana Krnáčová
Mayor of Prague

In 1993 Josef Odložil died from the after-effects of a malicious attack. His relatives, friends, charges, and fans decided to organize a meet in his honour that carried his name.

The Josef Odložil Memorial, an international athletic meet, is one of Europe’s premier athletic events. It also reminds new generations that Josef Odložil is still only one of two Czech runners in history, besides Emil Zátopek, to win an Olympic medal. This year it is 51 years since Josef broke the 2000m world record. It is a record that to this day stands as the Czech national record (earlier Czechoslovakian) record.

Over the years more than 500 various Olympic, world championship, European championship and other continents’ championship medalists and more than 50 world record holders have competed in the Josef Odložil Memorial.

Some of the meets in the most prestigious Diamond League do not have such meet records as we do. All we need to do is remind ourselves of some of these. Javelin, Jan Železný, 90.56 m: this effort was not bettered for a number of years. Koji Murofushi, 84.86 in the hammer throw: both these efforts are amongst the world’s best. Sileshi Sihine in the 10 km walk, with a time of 26:57,27, is one of the best results of all time. The legendary long jumper Ivan Pedroso holds the meet record of 860 cm; of the women, Barbora Špotáková threw her javelin for a record 68.81 m.

The Josef Odložil Memorial is an event that promotes not only Prague but the Czech Republic as a whole as it is annually broadcasted to more than 50 countries.

It gives me great pleasure to have partners not only such as the Czech Athletic Federation, the City of Prague, whose mayor has annually over the past decade been a patron of the student races, but to also have the best sports club not only in the country, but in Europe, and perhaps the world, ASC Dukla Praha, in whose colors have represented dozens of Olympic medalists in all different types of sporting disciplines. Another distinguished partner is the Czech Olympic Committee.

Thank you to all our partners that assist us financially. Without your help it would be very difficult indeed to have this event so highly rated amongst world athletic meets.

My thanks also goes to all the members of the organizing team, friends, charges and family members that for many years have worked all year round to prepare such a fantastic event.

I hope that this year we will get a big crowd to come and cheer for Jakub Holuša and his attempt to break the national record in Odložil’s discipline, the 1500m; to help Barbora Špotáková break the 60 metere barrier after coming back from injury; to spur on Pavel Maslák’s attempt to break the 45 second barrier in the 400 m, and to support all our other fantastic representatives to reach the best results possible and meet their Olympic qualifying limits.

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doc. Ing. Miroslav Ševčík, CSc.
Meeting Director and Chairman of the Organizing Committee

Dear sports friends, the 23rd Josef Odlozil Memorial will be an excellent chance for athletes to meet the qualifying standards for the two most prestigious events this year, the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. This year’s athletics season is once again full of great events and this meet which takes place annually at the Juliska Stadium is a fixed part of the calendars of many international and local stars. So once again this year we can look forward to interesting competition with top athletes.

For many athletes this is a chance to compete on their home ground in front of their fans and friends. I wish the athletes successful performances which will guarantee them a start at this year’s biggest events, and the fans’ happy memories and moments of excitement which are a must at every great sporting event.

I would also like to thank the organisers, business partners and all the other people that assist in organising this athletic event.

Libor Varhanik
President of the Czech Athletic Federation

Dear sports friends, this year’s Josef Odlozil Memorial will once again be a display of athletics at its highest quality and a chance for a wide spectrum of our athletes to compete. This athletic season is a busy one and the upcoming European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam and then the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are a great motivation for the athletes. The Josef Odlozil Memorial is one of the events where our athletes will be able to meet the entry standards for both of these events, and we will keep our fingers crossed for them.

I believe that the 23rd Josef Odlozil Memorial will again be an excellent show for athletics fans. The international stars welcome the homely atmosphere, precise organization and the warm welcome they receive from the public. It pleases me that this meet has become one of the most respected sporting events in our country.

I would also like to thank the business partners the Czech Athletics Federation and this meeting for their support of athletics. They greatly help its further development in the Czech Republic across all age categories, from small children all the way through to senior grades.

Helena Fibingerová
Česká atletika, s. r. o., Holder of Procuration

Again this year, the 23rd annual Josef Odlozil Memorial will be another chance for the Czech sporting fan to witness some of athletics’ local and international stars at the Juliska Stadium. Josef Odlozil, a member of Dukla Prague, with his contribution to athletics has joined the club of this country’s greatest athletes. Though a big sportsman, unfortunately his life was cut short in a non-sporting manner. The Josef Odlozil Memorial is held in his tribute and it is one of the ways we can thank him and remember him at least once a year. Hopefully with some great sporting feats by our top home-grown and international athletes.

From humble beginnings, the organizers over the years have managed to make this event one of the significant meets on the European athletics calendar. The Czech Republic and the city of Prague can boast the hosting of a significant sporting event.

This event is a great opportunity for the host of Czech athletes to fulfil their qualification limits for the XXXI Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It gives me pleasure that ASC Dukla as a co-organizer can contribute to the ever-increasing quality of this athletics meet, and at the same time welcome not only top athletes, important personalities of Czech sport, but also the general public at large.

Thus please allow me to sincerely invite you to this now traditional Prague athletics meet at the Juliska Stadium to be held on the 6th of June, 2016.

col. Ing. Jaroslav Priščák, Ph.D.
President, ASC DUKLA

The 23rd Josef Odlozil Memorial represents a decent chunk of history and another great athletics show awaits the general public, active and non-active athletes, coaches and athletics aficionados…

Czech Athletics had some great successes during the indoor season. At the World Indoor championships in Portland Pavel Maslak became world champion and Jakub Holusa came away with a silver medal. The Czech Republic came in fifth in the country medal count which clearly displays our strong standing in the athletics world. At this year’s Josef Odlozil Memorial you will be able to see the vast majority of these athletes along with a considerable international contingent.

This year’s athletics season is particularly important for Czech athletes as they will be trying to qualify for the European Championships and the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. The Josef Odlozil Memorial is an excellent opportunity for Czech athletes to fulfil the strict qualifying limits in their own home environment. A quality international competition, and traditionally well organized event, great athletics fans – these are the main attributes that will spur on our athletes to excellent performances. The program promises a great show not only in the main events but also in the supporting events that begin at 4 pm.

I do believe that you will enjoy this great show, at this, the largest athletics event in Prague, and that you will support our athletes on their way to the Olympic games.

Václav Fišer
Competition Department, Czech Athletic Federation

The beginning of this Olympic year has been a successful one for our athletes. A Gold and a Silver medal at the World Indoor championships in Portland and a fifth place in the overall medal count is testament to the Olympic motivation. In 2016, two important meets await our athletes, the European Championships in Amsterdam and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. ¨

This year’s instalment of the Josef Odlozil Memorial will become one of the main meets where athletes will be able to qualify for the aforementioned pinnacles of sport.

It has become a tradition that next to our elite athletes, the whole Czech representative reserves and our junior athletes compete side by side.

I believe that the Josef Odlozil Memorial will remain faithful to its tradition and in 2016 will not only show the strength of Czech athletics but also the skills of our organisational team to organise a sporting meet in Prague to the highest of European standards.

František Fojt
Czech Athletic Federation

Dear sports friends, this, the 23rd Josef Odlozil Memorial, is in many ways unique. For athletes that will take part in this event, it will be one of their last chances to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Sporting fans will have the opportunity to watch athletes in action who, come August, will be battling away for medals under the five Olympic rings.

As every year, we again look forward to a fantastic atmosphere at this event. I hope that we will witness some excellent sporting feats and that the whole event will be the ideal springboard to the season’s climax in Brazil.

Over the years the Josef Odlozil Memorial has proved itself to be one of the best athletic meets in the country where amongst a wealth of international talent our domestic athletes often obtain excellent results.

I will keep my fingers crossed for them and hope that at this meet they will book their place for Rio, or at least have a great sporting performance and life experience.

Jiří Kejval
President, Czech Olympic Committee