It took 41 years before a woman was able to run 400 meters faster than Jarmila Kratochvílová, a phenomenal runner from Czechoslovakia.
Dutchwoman Femke Bolová managed a smooth 400m run at Apeldoorn in 49.26 seconds.
“I’ve been following him for some time, he’s very talented, but I almost forgot this record. Until one of my charges called me at the weekend and reminded me of him. I’m still thinking about my main record in the 800 m,” said Jarmila Kratochvílová, holder the only world record, to Seznam Zprávám.
At 72 years old, you almost have to envy Jarmila Kratochvílové, the life she leads at home in Čáslav. He still has good physical condition, friends, big family, small training group and a normal, moderate attitude to life. You will not hear any complaints or bitterness from him.
And he still takes up athletics. “Bolová already ran under 50 seconds a week ago, which shows he can beat my record. He’s a nice guy. I wonder what he’ll do in the summer and if he prefers smooth Thursdays or hurdles. He might want to try some world records.I just think that it’s a long way from German driver Marita Koch’s record on a smooth track (47.60 seconds from 1985, editor’s note).
We also agree that indoor performances may not be 100% what it will look like outside in the summer. “It’s more of an indication that it can turn out well. I’ve never trained much in the halls myself. It’s just such a diversion. Just like I don’t go to the Canary Islands or South Africa in winter. The conditions are very different today.”
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Jarmila Kratochvílová is not jealous of Bolová and hopes for his record. It equals his incredible world record for the 800 m (1:53.28 from 1983 in Munich, editor’s note). “I’m not jealous at all. Every now and then special people are born and they are special. But don’t forget that it’s not about talent and training, it’s about health to last. And those big records of mine… can last at least until July 26th, when he will be 40 years old. Then let someone beat him up,” he said with a smile.
Today, Jarmila Kratochvílová lives in Čáslav, where she coaches a group of girls on tracks from 200 to 800 and looks forward to appearing with them. He runs on his own, but it’s more like running two or three times a week. Sometimes she prefers to clean or work in the garden.
In winter, she likes to watch winter sports on TV, go skiing, cross-country skiing, but her favorite is biathlon. “I’ve always looked forward to biathlon, it’s very exciting. For example, I watched a lot of championships in Germany. Johannes Thingnes Boe from Norway is far behind other rivals. Biathlon is only my second passion after athletics. Now I’m looking forward to going to the World Cup in Nové Město in Moravia in early March.”
Jarmila Kratochvílová told us that she also wants to watch major athletics competitions abroad, for example the Diamond League. “I haven’t been anywhere. I know there’s a great atmosphere there and sometimes I think I’ll leave if it’s within reach.’
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