STARS OF P-T-S MEETING
EMMA ZAPLETALOVÁ (SR/SVK – 400 m prek./400 m)
She finished fifth at the 2018 Junior World Championships in Tampere, after a pause in 2019 caused by health problems, got into great shape last year. In the summer season 2020, she set five Slovak records – seniors for 400 m hurdles 56.19 and 55.19, in the under-23 category for 200 m (23.45) and 400 m hurdles (57.11 and 56.86), she also improved her personal record at 400 m twice (52.84 and 52.54). At 55.19, the was the sixth in the world. The year 2021 started great for her: she managed make the second best Slovak performance in history at Golden Spike with 55.83.
JÁN VOLKO (SR/SVK – 100 a 200 m)
The Slovak Athlete of the Year 2017 and 2019 has had an excellent indoor season in 2021, which he ended by winning bronze at the he 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Toruń, thus completing his collection of precious metals (2017 – silver, 2019 – gold, 2021 – bronze). He holds Slovak records for 60 m indoors (6.55), 100 m (10.13), and 200 m (20.24) outside. He is also a finalist in the 2018 Indoor Championships at 60 m (6th place), the European under-23 champion 2017 at 200 m (silver at 100 m). In 2018, he set a Slovak record of 100 m at P-T-S (10.13). He is traditionally one of the biggest stars of P-T-S, where he will first time run two disciplines – 100 and 200 m.
MICHAEL RODGERS (USA/USA – 100 m)
An experienced 36-year-old veteran holds the absolute best time in the 100 m in Slovakia: in 2013, at the defunct meeting, the Athletic Bridge in Dubnica nad Váhom he ran a great 9.90 seconds with illegal wind support of 2.5 m/s. In addition, he reached 10.12 seconds at the same event, which is the eighth best regular time in Slovakia in the shortest sprint. Last year, he won the 100 m at the P-T-S with a great time of 10.15. Rodgers’ personal record at 100 m is 9.85 (2011), with winds above 2 m/s he has already reached 9.80 (2014). He is the world champion in 4×100 m from Doha 2019 (2./2013 and 2017), at the World Championships he was 5th (2015) and 6th (2013) in the individual 100 m run. At the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships he made it to the 60 m finals three times (2008 – 4, 2010 – 2, 2016 – 6).
BLESSING OKAGBAREOVÁ (Nigery/NGR – 100 m)
At first, she focused on long-distance and, in addition, triple jump. She even has silver medal from 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (originally it was 3rd) and also from the 2013 World Championships in Moscow (and bronze medal from 200 m), but then she started to be more successful in sprints. In 2014, she won the Commonwealth Games at 100 m (10.85 – event record) and 200 m, a year later she was eighth in the final at the World Championships in Beijing. Her personal records are 10.79 at 100 m (10.72 with wind), 22.04 (African record) at 200 m (22.03 with wind). At this year’s second Diamond League event in Doha, Qatar, on May 28, she finished second at 100 m behind 10.90 and she is this year’s top five in the world. The best Slovak women performance at 100 m (11.09 – Jarmila Kratochvílová on P-T-S 1981 and Marlies Göhrová on P-T-S 1983) will be in danger on June 2, 2021.
ANDERSON PETERS (GRN – javelin throw)
Sensational javelin throw winner at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, who also won the prestigious University Championship (NCAA) and the Pan American Games that year. He also has bronze medals from the Junior World Championships 2016 and the Commonwealth Games 2018. In Doha, he reached the winning 86.69 m in the first attempt, which was his second longest throw of his career at that time. He is studying at Mississippi State University in Starkville. After Kirani James, Peters (23) is only the second athletic world champion from Grenada. His personal record is 87.31 m (2019), he can sprint 100 m in under 10 seconds (10.89 / with wind).
ANITA WLODARCZYK (POL – hammer throw)
Without debate, the best hammer thrower in world history: she is a 2-time Olympic winner (2012, 2016 – she set the world record of 82.29 m at the time), a 4-time world champion (2009, 2013, 2015, 2017), a 4-time European champion (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018), number one in the world ranking, and world record holder. The first and still the only woman to cross the 80-meter mark, her current world record from 28th August, 2016 in Warsaw has a value of 82.98 m. Wlodarczyk is with her performance of 77.70 m w from 2016 the P-T-S meeting record holder. The thirty-five-year-old superstar did not compete last year due to injury, this year she has 73.87 m in her account, but surprisingly she lost at the European Throwing Cup in Split (2nd) and at the Golden Spike in Ostrava (3rd).
MARYNA BEKH-ROMANCHUK (UKR – long jump)
For almost a decade she has been one of the absolute world leaders (at first junior, now senior), but she won the first big gold – if we don’t count the World Universiade 2019 in Naples – at the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Toruń in March, also thanks to the absolute personal record of 696 cm. The 25-year-old athlete from Morozov finished second before the Toruń triumph at the 2019 World Championships in Doha and at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin. She also has bronze from Glasgow 2019 from the indoor European Championships. Her personal record under the open sky is 693 cm from 2016.
JEMMA REEKIE (GBR – 800 m)
Like Muir, she also comes from Scotland. She had her first international success at the 2017 Junior European Championships in Grosseto, Italy, where she triumphed at 1500 m. Two years later, in Gävle, Sweden, she added the titles of European champion in the under-23 category at 800 m (4th Gajanová) and 1500 m, but at the autumn World Championships in Doha she failed already in the run-ups. She improved her performance greatly in 2020: she moved her personal best to at 800 m from 2:01.45 to 1:57.91 (British indoor record), at 1500 m to 4:00.52 and at 1 mile to 4:17.88 (British indoor record). Last year, she triumphed at 800 m at Diamond League meetings in Stockholm and Rome, each performing in less than two minutes. In the summer season of 2021, she won 800 m at a meeting in Walnut, USA on May 9 with an excellent time of 1:58.27.