Roman Šebrle

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20090819 Roman Serble-2.jpg

Roman Šebrle (Czech pronunciation: [ˈroman ˈʃɛbr̩lɛ]; born 26 November 1974) is an athlete from the Czech Republic. He is considered to be one of the best decathlon athletes of all time. Originally a high jumper, he competes in decathlon and heptathlon for team TJ Dukla Praha and is a former world record holder in the decathlon. In 2001 in Götzis he became the first decathlete ever to achieve over 9,000 points, setting the record at 9,026 points, succeeding his compatriot, Tomáš Dvořák, who had scored 8,994 points two years earlier.

After placing second in the decathlon during the 2000 Summer Olympics, Šebrle won the gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Tradition dictates the winner of the decathlon holds the title of "World's Greatest Athlete".[1]

A panel of experts convened by the Wall Street Journal in 2008 also ranked Šebrle as the world's greatest athlete.[2] That very same year, Seberle finished 6th in the decathlon in the Beijing Olympics.

Private life[edit]

Roman Šebrle was born in Lanškroun, Czechoslovakia. He studied at Gymnázium Františka Martina Pelcla (English: František Martin Pelcl Gymnasium) in Rychnov nad Kněžnou and at Gymnázium Pardubice. Then he studied an extension course of Information Science and Computer Technology.[3]

On 14 October 2000 Šebrle married Eva Kasalová,[4] a former Czech athlete who competed on the track in the 400 and 800 metres. Their son, Štěpán, was born on 4 September 2002 and their daughter Kateřina on 30 January 2006.[5]

Sporting career[edit]

Beginning[edit]

When Roman Šebrle was six years old, he started playing football, but also occasionally took part in athletics competitions. In 1987 he broke his calf bone and shin bone on one leg in a collision with the opponent goalkeeper during a football match. After this incident he had his leg in plaster for 2 months and spent one year learning to walk.[3]

He competed in his first decathlon competition in 1991 in Týniště nad Orlicí, reaching 5,187 points. Then he met coach Jiří Čechák who convinced him to change school from Rychnov nad Kněžnou to Pardubice, where he joined the Track and Field Club in 1992. He improved his decathlon personal best to 7642 points, although he did just light training.[3]

TJ Dukla Praha[edit]

In 1995 he started his two-year compulsory military service in the Czech Armed Forces. He joined the army sports club TJ Dukla Praha and its group of decathletes led by coach Zdeněk Váňa, and has stayed a member since that time.[3] Thus he is still automatically a soldier of the Czech army, although in fact he does not take part in any military operations or, with a few exceptions,[6] in any military training.[7]

Achievements[edit]

In 1996 Šebrle achieved a score of over 8,000 points for the first time, reaching 8,210 points at a meeting in Prague. His first big success came in 1997, when he won the World University Games in Sicily and came ninth at the World Championships in Athens. In 1999 he was successful at the World Indoor Championships in Maebashi, where he won bronze in the heptathlon, and one year later at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Ghent, where he took silver.

By the end of the discus discipline at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, after Estonian Erki Nool was red-flagged three times by the discus judge, it seemed that Roman Šebrle was on course for the gold medal. However, the competition referee overruled the decision and Šebrle finally took silver.[8]

In March 2001 he won the first major tournament – the World Indoor Championships in Lisbon – and in May he shocked the world with a new world record of 9,026 points, marking the first time a decathlete has ever broken the illustrious 9,000 point barrier. However, due to an injury he couldn't do himself justice and finished a disappointed 10th in the World Championships in Edmonton.

Šebrle celebrates at Osaka, 2007

Then he left the Váňa's group and started to train with coach Dalibor Kupka in the same club. In 2002 he managed to win both European Indoor Championships in Vienna and European Championships in Munich. In 2004 in Athens he finally managed to win the Olympic Games, reaching 8,893 points and thus beating the 20-year-old Olympic record set by the British decathlete Daley Thompson in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.[9] After the victory in Athens, the Czech minister of defence promoted him to the rank of major.[10]

Šebrle’s best World Championships results were gold in 2007 (Osaka) and silver in 2003 (Paris) and 2005 (Helsinki). He was also successful at the World Indoor Championships in heptathlon, taking gold in 2001 (Edmonton) and 2004 (Budapest, beating the European record with 6,438 points), and bronze in 1999 (Maebashi), 2003 (Birmingham) and 2006 (Moscow). In 2005 he won the European Indoor Championships in heptathlon (Madrid), in 2006 the European Championships in decathlon for the second time (Gothenburg) and in 2007 he managed to get his third European indoor gold (Birmingham).[8]

The sum of his personal bests in individual disciplines is 9,326 points (the third ever best after Dan O'Brien and Mike Smith).[11] He is the only decathlete who finished 40 decathlon competitions with the score over 8,000 points and 20 competitions with the score over 8,500 points (as of October 2007).[12] Šebrle was also voted the Best Czech Athlete of the Year five times in a row (2002–2006),[13] and in 2004 he received the title of the Czech Sportsman of the Year.[14] In 2002 he received the Guth-Jarkovský Trophy for his world record, which is awarded by the Czech Olympic Committee for the best performance by a Czech athlete achieved during the previous year.[15]

Javelin injury[edit]

On 22 January 2007, Šebrle was hurt by a javelin thrown by a South African female javelin thrower, Sunette Viljoen, from a distance of 55 metres while training in South Africa.[16] The javelin pierced the edge of his right shoulder from the front, 12 cm deep. Shocked, Šebrle ripped the javelin out immediately, which could have caused even more damage. Luckily for him, it did not cause any serious injury, because it slipped between a muscle and his skin. He was taken to a hospital, but left soon with just eleven stitches. However, he was limited in training for some time, especially in the pole vault. Later he stated that he was only 20 cm away from being killed and 1 cm from an injury that would have ended his career.[17][18]

Personal bests[edit]

Roman Šebrle in Osaka, 2007
Šebrle competing at the 2009 Berlin World Championships
Event Performance Note Place Date Ref.
60 metres 6.91 Indoor Tallinn 7 February 1999 [19][20]
100 metres 10.64
10.64
Wind 1.3 m/s
0 m/s
Götzis
Götzis
3 June 2000
26 May 2001
[8][21]
[8]
200 metres 21.74 Wind 1.4 m/s Prague 7 August 2004 [8]
300 metres 35.12 Prague 13 June 2005 [8]
400 metres 47.76 Götzis 29 May 1999 [8][21]
1,000 metres 2:37.86 Indoor Lisbon 11 March 2001 [19]
1,500 metres 4:21.98 Götzis 27 May 2001 [8][21]
60 metres hurdles 7.84 Indoor Prague 2001 [19]
110 metres hurdles 13.68 Halle 20 May 2001 [21]
High jump 2.15 Götzis 3 June 2000 [8][21]
Pole vault 5.20 Turnov 18 May 2003 [8][21]
Long jump 8.11 Wind 1.9 m/s Götzis 26 May 2001 [8][21]
Shot put 16.47 Kladno 19 June 2007 [8][21]
Discus throw 49.37 Turnov 18 May 2003 [8][21]
Javelin throw 71.18 Osaka 1 September 2007 [8][21]
Decathlon 9026 European record Götzis 27 May 2001 [8][21]
Heptathlon 6438 European record Budapest 7 March 2004 [21]

List of results[edit]

Year Competition Place Discipline Points Note Result Ref.
1997 World Championships Athens Decathlon 8232 9 [22]
1997 Universiade Catania Decathlon 8380 1 [23]
1998 European Indoor Championships Valencia Heptathlon  – DNF [21]
1998 European Championships Budapest Decathlon 8477 6 [24]
1999 World Indoor Championships Maebashi Heptathlon 6319 3 [25]
1999 World Championships Seville Decathlon  – DNF [21]
2000 European Indoor Championships Ghent Heptathlon 6271 2 [26]
2000 Olympic Games Sydney Decathlon 8606 2 [27]
2001 World Indoor Championships Lisbon Heptathlon 6420 1 [28]
2001 World Championships Edmonton Decathlon 8174 10 [29]
2002 European Indoor Championships Vienna Heptathlon 6280 1 [30]
2002 European Championships Munich Decathlon 8800 1 [31]
2003 World Indoor Championships Birmingham Heptathlon 6196 3 [32]
2003 World Championships Paris Decathlon 8634 2 [33]
2004 World Indoor Championships Budapest Heptathlon 6438 ER 1 [34]
2004 Olympic Games Athens Decathlon 8893 OR 1 [35]
2005 European Indoor Championships Madrid Heptathlon 6232 1 [36]
2005 World Championships Helsinki Decathlon 8521 2 [37]
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow Heptathlon 6161 3 [38]
2006 European Championships Gothenburg Decathlon 8526 1 [39]
2007 European Indoor Championships Birmingham Heptathlon 6196 1 [40]
2007 World Championships Osaka Decathlon 8676 1 [41]
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia Heptathlon  – DNF [42]
2008 Olympic Games Beijing Decathlon 8241 6 [43]
2009 World Championships Berlin Decathlon 8266 11 [44]
2011 European Indoor Championships Paris Heptathlon 6178 3 [45]
2011 World Championships Daegu Decathlon 8069 14 [46]
2012 Olympic Games London Decathlon  – DNF

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World's Greatest Athlete". Sptimes.com. 2004-02-08. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  2. ^ "The World's Greatest Athlete?". Online.wsj.com. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  3. ^ a b c d "My Biography". Roman Šebrle's homepage. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-02.  (Czech)
  4. ^ "Svatby celebrit". Blesk.cz (in Czech) (Ringier, iABC, Reflex, Sport, Televize). Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  5. ^ "My family". Roman Šebrle's homepage. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-02.  (Czech)
  6. ^ "Major Šebrle ready to fire!". Ministry of Defense of the Czech Rep. Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  7. ^ "Interview with Šebrle". radio.cz. Retrieved 2007-03-17.  (Czech)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Biography:Roman Šebrle". IAAF. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  9. ^ "Roman Šebrle's profile". olympic.org. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  10. ^ "Kühnl promoted Šebrle to Major". sport.cz. Retrieved 2007-03-17.  (Czech)
  11. ^ "Total points based on personal bests". Decathlon'2000 site. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  12. ^ "Roman Šebrle". Decathlon 2000. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  13. ^ "Winners of the Best Athletes of the Year". ABC Prague. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  14. ^ "Winners of the Czech Sportsman of the Year". Klub sportovních novinářů ČR (in Czech). Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  15. ^ "Šebrleho ocenil Český olympijský výbor". Idnes.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  16. ^ "Lucky to be alive". BBC Sport. 2007-02-20. Retrieved 2007-02-28. 
  17. ^ "Speared decathlon champion Sebrle '20cm from death'". Yahoo Sport. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  18. ^ "Šebrle's shoulder decorated with 11 stitches". Idnes.cz. Retrieved 2007-04-01.  (includes photo, text in Czech)
  19. ^ a b c "Šebrle's Golden Era Continues". Sport.Aktuálně.cz. Retrieved 2007-09-01.  (Czech)
  20. ^ "Results 01 - 28 February 1999" (PDF). Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Sport profile". Roman Šebrle's homepage. Archived from the original on 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2007-09-01.  (Czech)
  22. ^ "Athens WC 1997". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  23. ^ "Universiade Catania 1997". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  24. ^ "Budapest EC 1998". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  25. ^ "Maebashi WC 1999". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  26. ^ "Gent EC 2000" (PDF). Decathlon 2000. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  27. ^ "Sydney OG 2000". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  28. ^ "Lisbon WC 2001". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  29. ^ "Edmonton WC 2001". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  30. ^ "Vienna EC 2000". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  31. ^ "München EC 2002". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  32. ^ "Birmingham WC 2003". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  33. ^ "Paris WC 2003". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  34. ^ "Budapest WC 2004". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  35. ^ "Athens OG 2004". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  36. ^ "Madrid EC 2005". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  37. ^ "Helsinki WC 2005". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  38. ^ "Moscow WC 2006". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  39. ^ "Göteborg EC 2006". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  40. ^ "Birmingham EC 2007". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  41. ^ "Osaka WC 2007". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  42. ^ "Valencia WC 2008". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  43. ^ "Beijing OG 2008". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  44. ^ "Berlin WC 2009". Decathlon 2000. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  45. ^ "Final Results – Heptathlon Men". sportresult.com. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  46. ^ "Final Results – Decathlon". Daegu 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Czech Republic Tomáš Dvořák
Men's decathlon world record holder
27 May 2001 – 23 June 2012
Succeeded by
United States Ashton Eaton
Preceded by
Czech Republic Tomáš Dvořák
Men's decathlon european record holder
27 May 2001 –
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Czech Republic Tomáš Dvořák
Men's heptathlon european record holder
7 March 2004 –
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Awards
Preceded by
Pavel Nedvěd
Czech Athlete of the Year
2004
Succeeded by
Jaromír Jágr
Preceded by
Estonia Erki Nool
World's Greatest Athlete
2004
Succeeded by
United States Bryan Clay