Tag Archives: Libor Varhaník

Sasha Zhoya runs away with the 2021 European Rising Star of the Year title

European U20 110m hurdles champion Sasha Zhoya was crowned as the men Rising Star at the Golden Tracks award ceremony that was held on Saturday (16) evening in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Femke Bol from Dutch is also the European 400m hurdles record-holder Femke Bol was also feted as the women’s Rising Star.

Zhoya also went into the record books in a glorious two months in the 110m hurdles. The Frenchman clocked four of the seven fastest times in history over the barriers at U20 level, including world records of 12.93 and 12.72 at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi to chop a dizzying 0.27 off the previous record.

The 19-year-old surpassed the world U20 record at the European Athletics U20 Championships in Tallinn with 12.98 but the time could not be ratified due to a slightly illegal tailwind. However, Zhoya did revise the championship record with 13.05 in the final to win the first of two major championship gold medals this summer.

The pair were presented with their trophies by European Athletics Vice Presidents Libor Varhanik and Jean Gracia respectively.

Bol raced extensively both indoors and outdoors, winning eight successive races indoors in the 400m which culminated with gold medals in both the 400m and 4x400m at the European Athletics Indoor Championships.

She also won 11 of her 12 races in the 400m hurdles outdoors, her only loss coming when she finished third at the Olympics but in Tokyo she smashed Yuliya Pechonkina’s long-standing European record with a time of 52.03.

Summary of Golden Tracks award winners 

  • Women’s European Athlete of the Year – Sifan Hassan (NED)
  • Men’s European Athlete of the Year – Karsten Warholm (NOR)
  • Women’s Rising Star – Femke Bol (NED)
  • Men’s Rising Star – Sasha Zhoya (FRA)
  • European Athletics Community Award – Maria Andrejczyk (POL)
  • European Athletics Women’s Leadership Award – Ana Krstevska (MKD)
  • Member Federation Award – Georgina Drumm (IRL)
  • European Athletics Coaching Award – Hansruedi Kunz (SUI)


IAAF Continental Cup Trophy Symbolizes Teamwork and Unity

The winning team of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 will be awarded with a unique trophy at the end of the competition, which runs from 8-9 September.

For the first time in the history of this competition, each member of the winning team will take home their own piece of the trophy. The original trophy symbolises team spirit, unity, and cohesion between nations and continents.

“On the concept of how to design a trophy for the IAAF Continental Cup, we came out of the basic idea of ​​the competition, which is the team spirit and the fact that the individual is part of the team,” explains Libor Varhaník, Chairman of the Czech Athletics Union and Chairman of the local organising committee.

“We used Bohemian crystal, hand-crafted in the shape of sticks symbolising relay batons as a symbol of teamwork and community. At the same time, Bohemian Crystal brings a trace of Czech tradition to an international event of this importance.”

The trophy consists of 116 crystal relay batons and together they form the trophy as a whole, which is in the shape of an athletics track. The batons are embedded in three rows on a metal pedestal, which is about 80 centimetres in diameter.

“The centre of the trophy is made up of a combination of smaller elements of pressed glass in the colours of the continents of Europe, America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, in which we see unity among the nations,” says Varhanik. “After handing over the glass ‘batons’ to the winning team members, the central part belongs to the winning area federation.”

Each baton is original with its own cutting and colouring, so every athlete from the winning team will take a unique, handmade artefact with its own décor from Ostrava as a symbol of successful teamwork.

The trophy was designed by Jaroslav Koléšek and Josef Divín.

“The trophy consists of three parts constituting a whole: 116 crystal bars, oval for the victorious continental federation and the metal pedestal,” says Koléšek. “Bohemian crystal symbolises purity, fragility and uniqueness. The glass bars are dense on the glass whistle. The central area consists of a metal platform with inscribed event identification and 116 glass pieces. The metal pedestal is made of stainless steel. This choice is based on an environment typical of the Ostrava region and its history. The oval and technical shape evokes the arena.”

During the event, the trophy will be displayed in an illuminated showcase as a unique glowing object in front of the athletes and viewers at the entrance gate of the Městský Stadium.