The opening ceremony of the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City (Getty Images) © Copyright
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1968 Olympic high jump champion Rezkova dies

The IAAF is deeply saddened to learn that Miloslava Rezkova died on 19 October at the age of 64 due to cancer, just two days after the 46th anniversary of her 1968 Olympic high jump victory.

Born in Prague in July 1950, Rezkova started out in ballet before taking up gymnastics, then volleyball and finally athletics.

Aged just 18, she represented Czechoslovakia at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City where she won gold with a leap of 1.82m, pulling off a shock victory ahead of several more favoured athletes.

Four years later at the 1972 Games, she jumped the same height as she did in Mexico City but it was only good enough for 15th place.

While still a teenager, she won the European title in 1969, jumping 1.83m. Much like her Olympic experiences, she cleared the same height at the following edition of the championships in 1971, but finished out of the medals in fifth.

She set her lifetime best of 1.87m in 1972, then equalled it two years later. She retired in 1977.

She was briefly married to her coach and fellow Czechoslovakian Olympic high jumper Rudolf Hubner, with whom she had two children, Linda and Jiri.

Rezkova remains the only athlete from Czechoslovakia – or indeed the Czech Republic – to win an Olympic title in a jumping event.