The surprise of young sprinter Volko

The weekend at the European Indoor Athletics saw a Slovak athlete take the second place, surprising not just audiences but also his coach.

Ján Volko, runner winning silver medal at European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade (Source: SITA)

Slovak sprinter Jan Volko on March 4 won the silver medal in the 60m event at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade with a new national record of 6.58 seconds, the TASR newswire wrote.

Gold went to defending champion Richard Kilty from Great Britain, who finished in 6.54 seconds, while Swede Sulayman Hamilton got bronze medal with a time of 6.63 seconds.

“I’m speechless,” said the 20-year-old Volko after the race. “I hadn’t hoped for this even in my wildest dreams. I've still not fully realised what I’ve actually achieved.”

“I can’t really explain what actually happened,” the young sprinter from BK HNTN Bratislava added, as cited by TASR. “My goal in Belgrade was to get into the semi-finals, and now I’m travelling home with silver, it’s unbelievable. Maybe it’s because I had only such modest expectations.” He broke the national record twice in Belgrade.

Volko first competed at the European Indoor Athletics Championships two years ago in Prague, when he ended up 30th in the heats.

Volko, who started his athletic career as a football player, surprised also his coach, Naďa Bendová. Bendová, a former flight attendant, said her first reaction was to hug him and say, “Have you gone mad? How are we going to improve this result now?”, as cited by the Plus Jeden Deň daily. She started to train him after former coach Andrea Berešová took over only endurance runners. Bendová and her husband believed in Volko, invested money, time and energy in him and, after a break caused by an injury, he improved quickly and began to repay the money from rewards for participation at athletic meetings.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Šefčovič will run for president

Our country needs good and non-partisan president, he said.

Maroš Šefčovič

Theresa May at least has the courage to try

May keeps her job because nobody else is capable, or willing, to take on the impossible task of Brexit.

Theresa May

‘All his own work’

To preserve their credibility, real academics must call out plagiarism.

Speaker of Parliament Andrej Danko

Biathlete Kuzmina triumphs in the women’s 10km sprint

It is her second World Cup victory this season.

Anastasiya Kuzmina