Czech Olympic squad is smallest in its history

Prague, July 13 (IANS) The Czech Republic will send the smallest team in its history to Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro from August 5 after the country’s Olympic Committee (COV) approved the nomination of 105 athletes.

COV Chairman Jiri Kejval on Tuesday said that as sport has been underfinanced in the Czech Republic for a long time, this has cut across all sports and it has affected the physical prowess of the youngest Czech generation, reports Xinhua news agency.

He said in his view, all the nominees are heroes who have fulfilled the difficult criteria despite the system.

The team includes all the four gold medallists from London: javelin thrower Barbora Spotakova, single scull winner Miroslava Topinkova Knapkova, pentathlon winner David Svoboda and cross-country biker Jaroslav Kulhavy.

COV Sports Director Martin Doktor, head of the Czech mission for Rio, said they have no representative in any team event this time, which has naturally influenced the total number.

The COV will send the final nomination to Rio on July 18. The team may be bigger if some more athletes fulfil the nomination criteria or receive an extra invitation from an international federation.

The Czech Republic sent 142 members to attend the 2004 Olympic in Athens where it had the biggest team.

–IANS

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