Past Athletes

Personal Data

Surname: ZeleznyFirstname: JanCountry: Czech RepublicDate of birth: 1966-06-16Birthplace : Mlada Boleslav (Czechoslovakia)Height: 185 cmWeight: 86.0 kg

Career Data

Discipline: javelin throwWorld records: 4Olympic Games (4 medals - 3 gold, 1 silver)World Championships (5 medals - 3 gold, 2 bronze)European Championships (2 medals - 2 bronze)
  • 1st (1992, 1996, 2000), 2nd (1988)
  • 1st (1993, 1995, 2001), 3rd (1987, 1999)
  • 3rd (1994, 2006)


A legend in the makingWinning return

The great javelin thrower Jan Zelezny picked up his third Olympic title in Sydney, and can also count a trio of world titles and the world record to his impressive list of honours during a fabulous career.

The robust Czech (1.85m/86kg) with the timid smile registered his first major victory in 1992, at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, and had Athens 2004 in sight and a potential fourth title.

However, despite throwing the third best mark of the year going into the Games, he finished modestly in ninth, well behind champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway.

He became a member or the athletes' commission of the IOC following Sydney but resigned in his efforts to be ready for the javelin event in Greece.

Now, with his career over, he has the opportunity to return to a position within the IOC and has also applied for the post of president of the Czech Olympic Committee.

His first Olympic win in 1992 Games was sweet revenge on the IAAF which had, a few weeks previously, refused to sanction his new world record because the javelin used was non-regulation.

His triumph in Catalonia was perhaps one of the most important in a long line of victories registered between 1991 and 2000: 98 in 125 competitions for the man who, on the field, had become practically untouchable.

After collecting a series of medals and titles, Zelezny reached the pinnacle of success on May 25, 1996 in Germany when he took the world record to an astounding 98.48m, a distance which incessantly provides amazement for his adversaries.

The euphoria from that record continued until the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, where Zelezny collected his second consecutive gold. The following season in 1997 proved mediocre however, and he could only manage ninth place in the world championships at Athens.

Tired from the rigours of competition, Zelezny had trouble finding his Olympic form, and a right shoulder injury sustained during training in April 1998 only complicated matters.

But he used that adversity positively, avoiding the stadium for a season and spending time with his family, wife Marta and their two children, Katarina and Jan.

In 1999, shortly after his return to competition, he took bronze at the world championships in Seville and, in March 2000, once more threw beyond the 90-metre mark.

At Sydney, his hard work paid off again, as he out-distanced Britain's Steve Backley and Russian Sergei Makorov to win his third straight Olympic gold.

He won a bronze medal as late as 2006 at the European Championships though the 2001 world championship title was his last major achievement.

His motto of "work and sacrifice" served him well during what will go down as one of the finest sporting careers in track and field.


Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic (C) is all smiles as he diplays his gold medal during the medal ceremony 23 September, 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games after winning the men's Olympic javelin throw competition in Sydney 23 September 2000. Zelezny made history with his third consecutive Olympic gold medal with a 90.17m throw. Brit Steve Backley (R) won silver with 89.85m and Makarov of Russia won bronze with 88.67m. AFP PHOTO/Olivier MORINJan Zelezny of the Czech Republic throws the javelin during the final of the men's Olympic javelin throw competition in Sydney 23 September 2000. Zelezny made history with his third consecutive Olympic gold medal with a 90.17m throw.    AFP PHOTO/Eric FEFERBERGJan Zelezny of the Czech Republic prepares to throw his javelin in the men's javelin final at the 8th World Championships in Athletics 12 August 2001 in Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada. Zelezny won the gold medal in the event for a throw of 92.80.   AFP PHOTO/Don EMMERTCzech Jan Zelezny competes during the Men's javelin qualifying round at the 19th European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, 07 August 2006. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS
1United States462929104
3Great Britain29171965
5South Korea138728

The Philippines has not won a medal since Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco settled for silver in boxing via a controversial decision during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

1972 was the last year the Philippine men's basketball team, which then paraded William 'Bogs' Adornado, Danny Florencio and Yoyong Martirez among others in its line up, has qualified for the Olympics.

The Philippines last reached the final round swimming 80 years ago when Jikirum Adjaluddin and Teofilo Yldefonso ended up in the final six in the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

The Philippines is the first nation in the tropics to ever participate in the Winter Olympic Games.

The Philippines participated in the Winter Olympics three times, in 1972 (Juan Cipriano and Ben Nanasca, alpine skiing), in 1988 (Raymund Ocampo, luge) and in 1992 (Michael Teruel, alpine skiing).

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The Philippines will shoot for its first gold medal in six of the following events in the 2012 London Olympics: Athletics, BMX, Boxing, Cycling, Shooting and Swimming.

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, though not competing, carries the Philippine flag at the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Teofilo Yldefonso is the first Filipino to win a medal and the only one to take home multiple medals. He finished third both in the Men's 200 meter breastroke during the 1928 and 1932 Olympics.

The Philippines is the first country to compete and win an Olympic medal among Southeast Asian countries.

Men's boxing has for medals in the Olympics with Anthony Villanueva, silver in the Featherweight Division of the 1964 Games in Tokyo; Leopoldo Serantes, third in 1988 Seoul; Roel Velasco, third in Barcelona; and his brother Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco, second in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The largest delegation the Philippines has ever sent to the Games was 53 in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The Philippines has only won medals in three events since joining the Olympics in 1924.

The Philippines holds the record for winning the most medals without a gold haul with seven bronze and two silvers for a total of nine.

Mary Antoinette Rivero's tie for fifth place in Taekwondo is the closest any Filipino athlete came to a medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The men's Philippine Basketball team is the first country to ever score 100 or more points in the 1948 Olympics after clobbering Iraq,102-30.

John Baylon, a nine-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, and Jerry Diño were the last Filipino Olympic qualifiers in the discipline Judo, having vied in the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Arianne Cerdena won a gold in bowling at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but Cerdena's gold was not included in the medal tally since bowling was considered only as a demonstration sport.

The Philippine basketball team wound up fifth place—best finish for an Asian country in the Olympics to date—in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the first time basketball was played as an Olympic sport.

With only eight athletes in six sporting events for the London Games, this will be PH's smallest delegation since 1996.