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Better late than never: Czech discus thrower finally awarded bronze from 2004 Olympics

‘This is the fulfillment of my dream as an athlete,’ says Vera Cechlova.

Image: Matt Dunham/AP/Press Association Images

CZECH DISCUS THROWER  Vera Cechlova finally received her Olympic bronze medal today, nine years after the Athens Games.

Cechlova officially received her medal in Prague from the IOC following the disqualification of Belarusian Irina Yatchenko for doping.

“This is the fulfilment of my dream as an athlete. It is my reward for all those years of waiting,” said Cechlova, 34, at a ceremony organised by the Czech Olympic Committee (COV).

Cechlova finished fourth at the Athens Games after a throw of 66.08m, 9cm behind Yatchenko as Russia’s Natalya Sadova (67.02m) took gold and Greece’s Anastasia Kelesidou (66.68m) claimed the silver.

However, doping tests carried out last year revealed that Yatchenko had used anabolic steroids, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped her of her medal last December before opting in May to hand the bronze to Cechlova.

Now 34, Cechlova also won bronze at the 2005 World Championships.

- © AFP, 2013

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