Saturday, September 23|
Czech star might now give it up
SYDNEY, Australia -- World record holder Jan Zelezny of the
Czech Republic became the first man in Olympic history to win the
javelin gold medal three consecutive times.
He did it breaking his Olympic record
Saturday night, with a throw of 295 feet, 9½ inches (90.17 meters).
Zelezny, who set the Olympic mark of 294-2 (89.66 meters) at
Barcelona in 1992, shattered it with his third throw of the night
to overtake the early leader in the event, Steve Backley of
Backley's throw of 294-9½ (89.85 meters), his best of the
season, was good for the silver. The bronze went to Sergei Makarov
of Russia with a throw of 290-10½ (88.67 meters). Makarov's father,
who watched the competition, won the silver medal in the event at
Moscow in 1980.
"I'm feeling great, but I don't feel like a historic man,"
The gold medal followed shoulder problems that threatened to end
the Czech's career following his gold at Atlanta, when he became
the first thrower to retain an Olympic javelin championship since
"I throw for all the doctors who helped me," he said. "My
shoulder, if you look at it, it's very bad, but it's throwing very
Backley continues to pursue Zelezny. He won the bronze at
Barcelona and silver at Atlanta.
"I thought my first throw was
reasonable at 86 (meters)," he said. "I barely made the event. I
knew it would be a long night."
American Breaux Greer finished last in the final, throwing
262-2½ (79.91 meters).
Zelezny, who once had a tryout as a pitcher with the Atlanta
Braves, set the world record in the event with a throw of 323-1
(98.48 meters) in 1996. He was the silver medalist in the javelin
at Seoul in 1988.
Zelezny was asked if he would come back and try for a fourth
gold medal in 2004, when he will be 38 years old.
"Four more years," he said. "My wife will kill me, maybe."
|Three Olympics, three golds for Jan Zelezny|
Track and field results
Jones, Greene capture 100-meter titles in convincing fashion
Jones, Greene start runs toward finish line