Zuzana Hejnova takes the world’s fastest interview


World 400m hurdles champion Zuzana Hejnova on Forrest Gump, Abba and making athletics a bit more like… golf?

What is your favourite pre-competition snack?

Fruit, bananas and cereal bars.

What’s your big karaoke number?

Dancing Queen by Abba.

Great choice. And if you could be a member of the Spice Girls who would you be?

Mel B.

Talking of the Spice Girls, isn’t that you at the Czech athlete of the year awards?

Thought so. If you weren’t an athlete what would you be doing, other than performing in a Spice Girls tribute band, of course?

I would be a kindergarten teacher.

Can you describe your perfect day?
I prefer to be with my boyfriend and my family relaxing in a cottage. In the morning, I would sleep for a long time and after that I would eat a good meal that was prepared on the grill. My base for a successful day is good and plentiful sleep.

What is your favourite meal?
Our traditional Christmas dinner in the Czech Republic - potato salad and fried carp.
What’s your favourite pre-competition song?
I have a lot of favourite songs before a competition. I prefer energetic and lively music, such as Set Fire to the Rain by Adele and Demon Days by Gorillaz.
Who’s your toughest rival?
Kaliese Spencer, Lashinda Demus and Perri Shakes-Drayton.
If you were IAAF President for the day, what would you do?
I would like to introduce a similar rule to golf whereby each athlete should have completed at least four officially advertised competitions that season otherwise they cannot compete at the biggest competition of the year: World Championships or Olympic Games. Any injured athlete would receive an exemption after a medical review.
Favourite athletics venue?
Paris, because I’ve twice broken the national record there.
Favourite movie?
The Czech movies Loves of a Blonde or Cosy Dens, or Forrest Gump.
Who would be your three celebrity dinner party guests?
Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and Roger Federer.