Martina Sáblíková (Czech pronunciation: [ˈmarcɪna ˈsaːbliːkovaː] (About this sound listen)) (born 27 May 1987) is a Czech speed skater, specializing in long distance races. She is an Olympic gold medal winner and a multiple European and World allround champion. She became the first Czech to win two Olympic gold medals at one Winter Games in the 2010 Olympiad. Sáblíková also competes in inline speed skating and road cycling races as a part of her summer preparation for the skating season. In cycling, she focuses especially on individual time trial discipline in which Sáblíková holds multiple Czech Republic National Championships titles and belongs to world's top 15 female time-trialists. Sáblíková is the elder sister of fellow speedskater Milan Sáblík.


As a junior, Sáblíková already achieved some notable results during international tournaments. In 2005, she came seventh in the 5000 m during the World Single Distance Championships. On 18 November 2005, she skated the 3000 m junior world record 4:00.69 in Salt Lake City. She was Czech youth champion in 1999, 2001 and 2004.

In the 2006 European allround championships in Hamar, she finished fourth overall, placing third at the 3000 m and winning the 5000 m. In the 5000 m, she surprisingly beat favorite Claudia Pechstein.

At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, she finished fourth in the 5000 m behind Clara Hughes, Pechstein, and Cindy Klassen. During her race against Klassen she was more than three seconds faster in the last round, but eventually missed the bronze medal by a second.

Because of Sáblíková's results, her position on the all-time world ranking, the Adelskalender, increased from the 94th to the 15th place within a year. In March 2006, she skated a world record at the 10,000 m, beating Clara Hughes's best time by more than 11 seconds.

The next year she won her first major tournament, the 2007 European Speed Skating Championships in Collalbo, with an outdoor world record samalog score 162.954 points. She won both the 3000 m and the 5000 m in outdoor world record times. She did not perform as well at the World alround championships in Heerenveen, where she finished fifth, but she managed to win the 3000 and 5000 m events at the 2006–07 Speed Skating World Cup. At the end of the season she won two gold medals at the 2007 World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City, in the 3000 m and 5000 m events. At those Championships, she set a new world record of 6:45.61 in the 5000 m event, 1.3 seconds faster than the previous record of Claudia Pechstein.

Martina Sáblíková at the 2007 World Championships in Heerenveen.

On 15 March 2007, Sáblíková became the first female speed skater to skate a 10,000 m below 14 minutes when she went 13:48.33 in Calgary.[1] She improved her own one-year-old world record by almost 20 seconds and this result would have belonged to top 100 men all time. In December 2007, she took 18th place in the poll European Sportsperson of the Year of the Polish Press Agency.[2] She also won the title of the Sportsperson of the Year of the Czech Republic twice – in 2007 and 2009.[3]

One week before the start of the 2007–08 World Cup season, Sáblíková fell during her training, and fractured her humerus and stretched ligaments.[4] Although the injury limited her training in the beginning, she had an excellent season, and finally got the title with 6 out of 7 world cup wins (including the final) at the 3000 m and 5000 m distances.[5] She also finished 9th at the 1500 m.[6]

On 13 January, she took bronze at the 2008 European allround championships in Kolomna, Russia. On 12 January, the first day of the event, she improved her personal best at the 500 m distance, her weakest distance, with a time of 40.58 seconds. However, it was still too slow to compete with the best skaters, and she finished 3rd despite winning the 3000 m and 5000 m distances.[7][8] On 10 February she finished 5th at the World Allround Championships in Heerenveen, again winning the 5000 m, but with a poor 500 m result.[9]

On 9 March 2008 she won gold at the 5000 m at the World Single Distance Championships in Nagano, Japan.[10] However, she was very disappointed with her 3000 m performance two days before, when she finished 4th.[11]

On 11 January 2009 she repeated her previous bronze performance at the European allround championships[12] despite her traditionally weak performance at the 500 m and surprising 4th place at the 3000 m.[13] However, on 8 February she took gold at the World allround championships in Hamar after setting a new Czech national record in the 500 m at 40.28 seconds and winning the 3000 m and 5000 m distances. It was the first world alround medal in her career.[14][15] On 1 February 2009, Sáblíková and her fellow Czech competitors Andrea Jirků and Karolína Erbanová won the team pursuit competition at the World Cup Final in Erfurt, setting new Czech national record of 3:05.32. After the leading Dutch team did not finish the race, they also won the whole 2008/2009 World Cup.[16]

At the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010, Sáblíková won three medals, two golds (3000 and 5000 metres) and one bronze (1500 metres). She thus became the first Czech to win two gold medals in the same Winter Olympic Games.[17]

At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Sáblíková successfully defended her title in the 5000 meter, while also winning a silver medal in the 3000 meter.

Martina Sáblíková and Milan Sáblík are a rare example of sister and brother both holding world records in the same sport at the same time; Martina holds the (senior) world records in the 5000 m and 10,000 m events (both from March 2007), while Milan shared the junior world record for the team pursuit with fellow Czech junior skaters Pavel Kulma and Zdeněk Haselberger (from November 2007 till March 2010[18]). Sáblíková has been successful despite there being no speed skating rinks in the Czech Republic. Because of this, Sáblíková's coach Petr Novák had to devise several unorthodox but successful training methods.

Rio 2016 qualification controversy

As an international calibre cyclist, Sáblíková has long harboured the dream of competing in the Olympic time trial event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. After finishing 12th in 2015 in the women's time trial at the UCI World Road Championships in Richmond, U.S. (9th in the reduced rankings), Sáblíková was thought to have secured a place at Rio 2016. However, when the UCI published the list of nations that had qualified for this event at Rio 2016, the Czech Republic was not among them. The UCI used an interpretation of the qualification rules where an athlete also has to qualify for the road race. She decided to travel to Rio in the hope that the decision might be overturned, but did not compete.[19][20]


Personal records
Women's speed skating
Event Result Date Location Notes
500 m 39.23 7 March 2015 Calgary
1000 m 1:17.36 28 November 2009 Calgary
1500 m 1:53.44 21 November 2015 Salt Lake City NR
3000 m 3:55.10 7 March 2015 Calgary NR
5000 m 6:42.66 18 February 2011 Salt Lake City WR
10000 m* 13:48.33 15 March 2007 Calgary Best world performance[21]

*=not an official distance for women, so no official World record Source: SpeedskatingResults.com[22]

World records

Event Time Date Venue
10000 m 14:08.28 23 March 2006 Calgary
5000 m 6:45.61 11 March 2007 Salt Lake City
10000 m 13:48.33 15 March 2007 Calgary
5000 m 6:42.66 18 February 2011 Salt Lake City

Source: SpeedSkatingStats.com[23]

In-line skating and cycling

Sáblíková also competed in several inline speed skating and cycling races as a part of her summer preparation for the skating season. In 2004, she finished 16th at the Junior Inline Speed Skating World Championships on the 20 km distance in Sulmona. In 2006, she won the marathon (42.2 km) at the Czech Inline Speed Skating Championships in Plzeň and in 2007 the halfmarathon (21.6 km) in Ostrava.[24] In 2007, she also took bronze in individual time trial on the 24 km distance at the European U23-Junior Road Cycling Championships in Sofia and another bronze on the 18 km distance at the Czech Road Cycling Championships in Žďár nad Sázavou. In 2010, she took gold at the Czech Road and Time Trial National Championship.[25]


  1. ^ World record Sablikova Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine., www.speedskatingworld.org 15 March 2007.
  2. ^ "Evropským sportovcem roku je opět Federer, bodovala i Sáblíková". Sport.cz (in Czech). Právo, Seznam.cz. 26 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  3. ^ Beránek, Jaroslav (12 January 2008). "Sportovní královnou roku je Sáblíková". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Sáblíková se zranila, její start ve SP je nejistý". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  5. ^ "Sáblíková vyhrála finálový závod SP". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  6. ^ "Sáblíková byla na 1500 m devátá". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 23 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  7. ^ "Sáblíková získala na ME bronz ve víceboji". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 13 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  8. ^ "Sáblíková má zlato, na ME vyhrála 3 kilometry". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 13 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  9. ^ "Sáblíková vyhrála pět kilometrů, celkově je pátá". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 10 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  10. ^ "Sáblíková obhájila titul mistryně světa!". Idnes.cz (in Czech). 9 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  11. ^ "Kouč Sáblíkové: Trojka byla naší velkou prohrou". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  12. ^ "Skvělá Sáblíková. Obhájila bronz z ME ve vícebojích a vyhrála pětku". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 11 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  13. ^ "Sáblíková je v polovině víceboje čtvrtá. K ´malé´ medaili jí chybělo 0,1 vteřiny". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 10 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  14. ^ "Sáblíková vede po dvou disciplínách MS ve víceboji v Hamaru". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  15. ^ "Rychlobruslařka Sáblíková je mistryní světa ve čtyřboji". Idnes.cz (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  16. ^ "České družstvo rychlobruslařek vyhrálo poprvé v historii stíhací závod" (in Czech). MAFRA a.s. 1 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-08. 
  17. ^ "Speed skating sensation Sáblíková makes history with second gold at Winter Olympics". Radio Prague. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Evolution of the world record Team pursuit Boys". SpeedSkatingStats.com. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  19. ^ "Rio nightmare for speedskating star Sablikova". Bangkok Post. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016. 
  20. ^ Cycling at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Qualification
  21. ^ List of speed skating results
  22. ^ "Martina Sáblíková". SpeedskatingResults.com. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "Martina Sáblíková". SpeedSkatingStats.com. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  24. ^ "Martina Sáblíková — sportovní výsledky: In-line bruslení". Official website of Martina Sáblíková and Novis Team. Retrieved 2007-09-06.  (Czech)
  25. ^ "Martina Sáblíková — sportovní výsledky: Cyklistika". Official website of Martina Sáblíková and Novis Team. Retrieved 2007-09-06.  (Czech)

External links

Olympic Games
Preceded by
Aleš Valenta
Flagbearer for the  Czech Republic
Turin 2006
Succeeded by
Jaromír Jágr
Preceded by
Kateřina Neumannová
Barbora Špotáková
Czech Athlete of the Year
2009, 2010
Succeeded by
Barbora Špotáková
Petra Kvitová
Preceded by
Šárka Záhrobská
Czech Junior Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Ondřej Polívka