June 18, 2014
The best sportsmen from all around the world arrived at the 53rd athletic meeting, the Golden Spike (Zlatá tretra), in Ostrava. Thanks to its convenient location close to the City Stadium Vítkovice, facilities were provided by Clarion Congress Hotel Ostrava, which was recently named the best hotel in the Moravian-Silesian region of 2014. Although the main meeting programme was not to start before Tuesday 17 June, the hotel had been immersed in the sports event for a number of days before the start; athletes started arriving with their teams on Friday. The Hotel Clarion accommodated over 200 sportsmen and organizers including stars such as sprinter Justin Gatlin, record holder in the long jump Mike Powell, French pole-vaulter Renaud Lavillenie or famous miler Sebastian Coe.
Apart from those famous names of world athletics, the javelin throwing legend and meeting director Jan Železný and his successor, last year's world champion in javelin throwing, Vítězslav Veselý also stayed in the Clarion Ostrava.
"In comparison with some previous years when we had to equip for example Usain Bolt's room with a Playstation games console, sportsmen this year had no special requirements. They attended the accreditation process and besides accommodation and catering in the Veduta restaurant they could experience a massage. After the main race, we also prepared an after-meeting drink for the athletes," said Pavol Parikrupa, sales manager at the Clarion Congress Hotel Ostrava. The hotel congress centre served as a press conference room for journalists throughout the whole meeting; press conferences took place there as well as breakfast and lunch for the media. Stars of the media event, held on the main competition day on Tuesday, were Sebastian Coe, Sergej Bubka, Mike Powell, Jan Železný and Jarmila Kratochvílová.
"The whole event was accompanied by increased security measures, which are usual for this kind of events. Crowds of fans wanting an autograph were queuing in front of the main hotel entrance; we tried to provide our guests with privacy to help them concentrate on the sport performances," stated Radim Beneš, hotel director of the Clarion. This year's Golden Spike IAAF World Challenge Tour seemed to be very promising with respect to breaking the world best times. American sprinter Justin Gatlin managed to do that as he replaced the champion Usain Bolt who did not participate in this year's meeting. His world's best time of the season in the 100m run was an excellent ending to the meeting. Clarion Ostrava has great experience with accommodation of sportsmen, apart from athletes of the Golden Spike it also hosted the Fed Cup team led by Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitová or Czech and Dutch tennis teams during the first round of the Davis Cup which was held in Ostrava at the end of January.