Athlete Profile

    Czech Republic Czech Republic
    10 OCT 1990
Jakub Vadlejch in the javelin at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)

Current World Ranking Positions

Discipline Place Score
Men's Javelin Throw 8 1306
Men's Overall Ranking 200 1306

Highest Ever World Ranking Positions

Discipline Place Duration
Men's Javelin Throw 4 for 2 weeks
Men's Overall Ranking 113 for 5 weeks
Highest ever World Rankings position is considered from 1/1/2019


Discipline Performance Wind Venue Date Records Results Score
Shot Put (6kg) 16.66 Moskva (RUS) 19 SEP 2009 0
Shot Put (5kg) 16.40 Uherské Hradiste (CZE) 09 JUN 2007 0
Javelin Throw 89.73 Olympic Stadium, London (GBR) 12 AUG 2017 1240
Javelin Throw (700g) 76.93 Tábor (CZE) 28 SEP 2007 0


* Not legal.


Discipline Performance Wind Venue Date Records Results Score
60 Metres 7.44 Praha (CZE) 13 FEB 2010 729
Long Jump 6.78 Praha (CZE) 13 FEB 2010 875
Shot Put 15.02 Praha (CZE) 21 FEB 2009 825


* Not legal.


Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records Results Score
Javelin Throw 82.31 Mestský Stadion, Ostrava (CZE) 19 MAY 2021 1134


Shot Put (6kg)

Performance Place Date
2009 16.66 Moskva (RUS) 19 SEP 2009


Shot Put (5kg)

Performance Place Date
2007 16.40 Uherské Hradiste (CZE) 09 JUN 2007


Javelin Throw

Performance Place Date
2021 82.31 Mestský Stadion, Ostrava (CZE) 19 MAY 2021
2020 84.31 Mestský Stadion Sletište, Kladno (CZE) 01 JUN 2020
2019 85.78 Alexander Stadium, Birmingham (GBR) 18 AUG 2019
2018 89.02 Stadion Juliska, Praha (CZE) 04 JUN 2018
2017 89.73 Olympic Stadium, London (GBR) 12 AUG 2017
2016 88.02 Paris (FRA) 27 AUG 2016
2015 86.21 Karlstad (SWE) 22 JUL 2015
2014 82.97 Kuortane (FIN) 13 JUL 2014
2013 75.85 Stará Boleslav (CZE) 28 AUG 2013
2012 80.40 Potchefstroom (RSA) 24 MAR 2012
2011 84.08 Domažlice (CZE) 24 SEP 2011
2010 84.47 Olomouc (CZE) 08 MAY 2010
2009 81.95 Domažlice (CZE) 26 SEP 2009
2008 76.56 Praha (CZE) 16 SEP 2008
2007 64.11 Jablonec nad Nisou (CZE) 02 SEP 2007


Javelin Throw (700g)

Performance Place Date
2007 76.93 Tábor (CZE) 28 SEP 2007


60 Metres

Performance Place Date
2009/10 7.44 Praha (CZE) 13 FEB 2010


Long Jump

Performance Place Date
2009/10 6.78 Praha (CZE) 13 FEB 2010


Shot Put

Performance Place Date
2009/10 14.03 Praha (CZE) 13 FEB 2010
2008/09 15.02 Praha (CZE) 21 FEB 2009

Honours - Olympic Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
8. Javelin Throw 82.42 Estádio Olímpico, Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 20 AUG 2016

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. Javelin Throw 89.73 Olympic Stadium, London (GBR) 12 AUG 2017
5. Javelin Throw 82.19 Khalifa International Stadium, Doha (QAT) 06 OCT 2019

Honours - World (Continental) Cup

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
5. Javelin Throw 84.76 Ostrava (CZE) 09 SEP 2018

Honours - European Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
8. Javelin Throw 80.64 Olympiastadion, Berlin (GER) 09 AUG 2018

Honours - Diamond League

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Javelin Throw 88.50 Letzigrund, Zürich (SUI) 24 AUG 2017
1. Javelin Throw 87.28 Letzigrund, Zürich (SUI) 01 SEP 2016
1. Javelin Throw 88.02 Paris (FRA) 27 AUG 2016
1. Javelin Throw 85.72 Olympic Stadium, London (GBR) 22 JUL 2016

Honours - European Team Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Javelin Throw 87.95 Stadium Lille Métropole, Villeneuve d'Ascq (FRA) 24 JUN 2017
2. Javelin Throw 79.88 Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium, Bydgoszcz (POL) 09 AUG 2019

Honours - National Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Javelin Throw 83.22 Brno (CZE) 27 JUL 2019
1. Javelin Throw 87.07 Třinec (CZE) 11 JUN 2017
1. Javelin Throw 81.26 Ostrava (CZE) 02 AUG 2014
Results in:

Javelin Throw

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
16 MAR 2021 ACNW Open T&F Meeting, McArthur Stadium, Potchefstroom RSARSA F F 4. 78.90
19 MAY 2021 60th Ostrava Golden Spike, Mestský Stadion, Ostrava CZECZE A F 4. 82.31
23 MAY 2021 Müller Grand Prix Gateshead, International Stadium, Gateshead - Diamond Discipline GBRGBR GW F DNS

Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.


Compiled 14 July 2016


Jakub VADLEJCH, Czech Republic (Javelin Throw)


Born: 10 October 1990, Prague, Czech Republic

Coach: Jan Zelezny

Club: Dukla Praha (Sports Army Club)



It was the season of his life; he improved his personal best three times, but once again failed to succeed at the major competition. After 2015, Jakub Vadlejch showed he can throw very far and he continued to improve also this year. Will his first major international medal come in Rio? This is the question also for his coach, World record holder Jan Zelezny, who says Vadlejch is the biggest talent in his training group (which also includes former javelin throw World champion Vitezslav Vesely).


“I think, last year finally showed me what my abilities are and I enjoyed every event,” commented the blond, quiet boy from the Czech capital. He started athletics when he was ten, in the Kovosrot Praha athletic club. However, the real passion for this sport came under the leadership of his coach Petr Behensky. “I have tried many sports and I was very good at floorball. But the desire for an individual success and knowing personal limits led me to the athletics,” said Vadlejch in retrospective.


Very soon, as a teenager, he started to train under the leadership of a new coach, Rudolf Cerny, with Czech javelin superstar Barbora Spotakova. She became a big inspiration for the young 18-year-old thrower who, at this age, broke the 80 metres barrier for the first time. His first international competition came in 2007, when he finished twelfth at the World Youth championships in Ostrava. In 2008, he added tenth place from the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz. The following year, he managed to improve the Czech junior record to 81.95 in September. “I was throwing very naturally at the time. I did not understand what my legs and arms were doing,” confessed Vadlejch.


Cooperation with Rudolf Cerny finished in August 2010. When his team mate Spotakova decided to change coach after eleven years, Vadlejch followed her to the Jan Zelezny group. Just before that, he had started at the European Championships in Barcelona, his first senior international competition, where he did not make it from the qualification rounds, with 76.04. In time, Spotakova returned to her former coach, in 2015, after she had become a mother and wanted to have a different training program. But Vadlejch stayed with his new team mates – Vitezslav Vesely and Petr Frydrych.


It took him five years until he understood the javelin technique. His personal best from Olomouc 2010 (84.47) remained unchanged until 2015, when he finally improved it at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on 9 July, with 85.15. “I had accumulated many mistakes and then my ankle problems started. My technique just broke down. I had to return to my former throwing style,” explained Vadlejch. Health and mental peace – that is the recipe for good performance for Jakub Vadlejch, who had big technical problems from 2011 to 2014 and struggled to regularly break 80 metres.


At the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Olympic Games in London, or the 2014 European Championships in Zürich, he always ended up with a substandard throwing performance in the qualification rounds.


But things started to improve step by step. His first throw over 86 metres came on 22 July 2015 in Karlstad (86.21). It was his last meeting before the World Championships in Beijing, so Vadlejch felt ready to fight for the podium in China.


However, destiny played its own game with Kuba, as they call Jakub at home. The eighth man in the world rankings that year, going into the major event, still had to qualify into the final at the third attempt, but he stumbled and fell close to the line. It was a very long attempt, over the qualification mark of 83 metres, but it was a foul. The gates to the final remained closed for the Czech athlete. A similar thing had happened to his coach, Jan Zelezny in Tokyo 1991, so history repeated itself after 24 years. “I do not want to discuss it anymore. The referee said it was a foul so I have to accept it,” Vadlejch closed the discussion.


Preparation for the Olympic year went well and Vadlejch started to throw far from the beginning of the 2016 summer season. Already during the ten weeks’ training camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa, he managed to set the world leading mark of 85.54 on 22 April.


His shape improved in Kawasaki, where he threw a winning mark of 86.76, a new personal best, on 8 May. Kawasaki must definitely be one of the favourite places for Vadlejch. He had also improved his personal best there at the beginning of 2015, to 85.13 - his first time over 85. It had taken him almost five years to reach that new PB.


A week later, in Shanghai, he ended up second with a solid 84.77. “I have a stable performance which is good,” he said, but knew that the technique was still not perfect. He also started to feel tiredness from the long flights.


In Eugene, he finished fourth, in Oslo sixth, in Stockholm eighth. But in the qualification of the European Championships, in Amsterdam, he showed a good shape again, throwing 85.06 - his second best performance. Nevertheless, he did not manage to repeat it in the


In his free time, Vadlejch enjoys his cottage in the Sumava Mountains with his girlfriend Lucie Slanickova, Slovak 400m Hurdles runner. The biggest relaxation for him is gardening and strolling in the streets of Prague, finishing off with a good coffee.


He says he is still waiting for the throw of his lifetime. Conditions, technique and form – everything has to come together at the same time. Then, the javelin can fly even over 90 metres. “I still hope I am not in the peak throwing age yet. They say it comes sometimes around 30. I think my limits are somewhere else. I hope I will get close to them sometimes in the future,” he said.



Personal Bests

Javelin Throw: 86.76 (2016)


Yearly Progression

Javelin Throw: 2007: 66.12; 2008: 76.57; 2009: 81.95 NJR; 2010: 84.47; 2011: 84.08; 2012: 80.40; 2013: 75.85; 2014: 82.97; 2015: 86.21; 2016: 86.76 PB


Career Highlights

2007   12th     World Youth Championships (Ostrava)                                                   65.63

2008   1st        Czech Junior Championships (Prague)                                                   65.84

2008   10th     World Junior Championships (Bydgoszcz)                                               68.79

2008   1st        Czech U23 Championships (Prague)                                                     73.08

2009   1st        Czech Junior Championships (Ostrava)                                                 70.71

2009   2nd       Czech Championships (Prague)                                                              76.24

2009   8th        European Junior Championships (Novi Sad)                                           69.63 

2010   2nd       Czech Championships (Trinec)                                                                78.52

2010   16q     European Championships (Barcelona)                                                       76.04

2010   2nd       Czech U23 Championships (Breclav)                                                      73.10

2011   2nd       Czech Championships (Brno)                                                                  78.52

2011   nm      European U23 Championships (Ostrava)                                                        

2011   16q     World Championships (Daegu)                                                                80.08

2011   2nd       Czech U23 Championships (Pisek)                                                         72.76

2012   3rd        Czech Championships (Vyskov)                                                              72.42

2012   25q     Olympic Games (London)                                                                          77.61

2013   2nd       European Team Championships, 2nd League (Dubnica nad Vahom)          72.86

2013   3rd        Czech Championships (Tabor)                                                                 69.98

2014   1st        European Team Championships, Super League

                                                                                 (Vila Real de San Antonio)            76.41

2014   1st        Czech Championships (Ostrava)                                                             81.26

2014   20q     European Championships (Zürich)                                                           75.14

2015   1st        European Team Championships, First League (Mersin)                            81.91

2015   1st        Czech Championships (Plzen)                                                                 81.91

2015   20q     World Championships (Beijing)                                                                 78.95

2016   9th        European Championships (Amsterdam)                                                 78.12


Prepared by Zuzana Trojakova for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2016