Late in the evening on Saturday, November 4, the best athletes of the year ending will be announced during a gala evening broadcast live by Czech Television (from 10:20 p.m.). From the stage of the Ambassador Hotel – Zlatá husa, we will learn the ranking of the elite ten, as well as the winners of the trainer, junior and discovery of the year categories.
Professionals will be in charge of the musical side of the gala evening. Specifically, the singers Anna K., Olga Lounová, Kristina, Vesna, the duo Sebastian & Adam Mišík and the band Jelen. However, it is a tradition of this TV show that awardees also appear as performers. In the past, a number of prize-winners appeared on stage in this role – Roman Šebrle, Tomáš Janků or Petr Svoboda, for example. Last year, Tomáš Staněk and the farewell quartet Barbora Špotáková, Zuzana Hejnová, Jakub Holuša and Petr Frydrych sang. This year will not be an exception either, but who will appear this time remains a surprise.
At the Athlete of the Year, among others, Zuzana Hejnová, Jakub Holuša and Barbora Špotáková sang (from left), singer Monika Absolonová on the right
Aleš Háma will perform for the guests in the hall and the audience at the screens as every year, this year for the eighteenth time. Monika Absolonová stood by his side for a number of years, Háma himself has been the moderator for the last few years. He has a strong bond with athletes and athletics, he regularly goes to international championships and knows many of them personally. “It’s good if you know these people, because you can afford them more,” he said last year in an interview with Atletika magazine.
On the podium, all awardees from the dozen and category winners (coach, junior, discovery) will receive, as is traditional, a gold bar weighing between 20 grams and 1 ounce. On the back are the logos of the association and Athlete of the Year 2023.
The results were decided by 141 of the contacted officials, coaches and media representatives. Each of the voters ranked ten male and female athletes at their discretion, for which 10 points are awarded for the first to 1 point for the tenth. Below is a reminder of the ten finalists.
Athlete of the year – TOP 10 in alphabetical order
Tereza Ďurdiaková (walking 35 km) | For the first time in ten polls. The season did not go well for Ivo Piták’s protege, she had to give up in Poděbrady at the team championship. But later, Tereza managed to qualify for the World Championships, where she shined with a tenth place in the national record. She improved her performance by two and three quarter minutes with a time of 2:49:06.
Nikoleta Jíchová (400 m before) | This is her debut in the top 10, the highest she was fourteenth last year. The growth is a reflection of the season in which Jindřich Šimánek’s protégé became the third Czech woman to break under 55 seconds in her discipline with a time of 54.88. Nikolet also confirmed her performance at the World Championships, where she made it to the semi-finals and took seventeenth place overall.
Radek Juška (distance) | The discovery of 2015 is fifth among the elite in the main category, so far he was fifth, last year he was eighth. Despite health problems in preparation, he won fifth place at the European Indoor Championships. Radek, who has been preparing for a long time with Josef Karas, consistently jumped eight meters outside. He overcame a difficult situation in qualifying at the World Championship and was seventh in the final. He even made it to the finals of the Diamond League, where he was fourth, in the world ranking he is currently tenth.
Matej Krsek (400 m) | So far, he was in the top 10 only last year with the relay, now he is among the best in the poll for the first time on his own. At the HME in Istanbul, Miroslav Zahořák’s protégé ran his first big final, finishing fifth. Under the open sky, Matěj was a solid link in both relays and participated in all three records. He finished in the heat at the individual quarterfinals at the World Championships in Budapest.
Tereza Petržilková (400 m) | Another newcomer among the top ten of the year. Under Jan Hanzlo’s guidance, Tereza grew into a stable member of the national team and experienced the season of her life this year. She won sixth place at the indoor European Championships, the semi-finals at the outdoor worlds and moved her absolute personal record by almost a second to 51.25. She was an integral part of the relays, both female (fourth at the HME) and mixed (gold at the EH and bronze at the WC).
Tomáš Staněk (ball) | He is sixth in the elite ten, in the last three seasons he was always third. The driving force of Petr Stehlík’s training group won silver in Istanbul, his fourth indoor European medal (and fifth indoor metal overall). Outside, Tomáš once again reached a performance close to 22 meters and thus also his national record, but he failed to qualify for the WC. He is currently ninth in the world rankings.
Relay 4×400 m mixed | For the first time, the mixed relay is among the best in the poll. The lineup of Krsek, Petržilková, Müller, Vondrová dominated the competition at the EC Teams / European Games in a national record of 3:12.34. In a changed composition, where Müller was replaced by Šorm, she improved her performance to 3:11.98 at the world championships and won bronze in the dramatic final.
Amálie Švábíková (pole) | It returns to the top ten after last year’s break, and is in it for the third time overall (still in 2018). In the indoor part of the season, Štěpán Janáček’s protégé pushed her absolute performance and thus the national record to 472 cm and won bronze, her first big valuable metal among adults, at the European Championships in Istanbul. Outdoors, Amálie made it to the finals of the WC thanks to the outdoor 465 and was eleventh.
Jakub Vadlejch (javelin) | Winner of the last two years of the poll, in the top 10 for the seventh time (he was also a discovery of 2009). Group leader Jan Železný is the support of the national team, the bronze from the World Championships in Budapest is his fourth medal from the top event in a row, fifth overall. Jakub finished the season as the leader of the world charts (89.51), winner of the Diamond League and second in the world ranking.
Lada Vondrová (400 m) | The discovery of 2019 is in the top ten for the third time (13th last year), the last time it was in it was the year before. In her first final at the top event, Lada took fifth place at the indoor EC. She was the backbone of the relays, with the women she took fourth place in Istanbul, and with the mix she participated in both Czech records. The day after the bronze, she also ran her lifetime fourth in Budapest, a personal best of 50.92 sent her to the semi-finals of the World Cup and to the Olympics in Paris.