Czech wrestler Vítězslav Mácha claimed gold at Munich 1972 and silver at Montreal 1976 ©United World Wrestling

Czech wrestling legend Vítězslav Mácha, who remains the only wrestler from his country to win Olympic gold, has died at the age of 75.

The Czech Olympic Committee (ČOV) has announced Mácha’s death following a long illness.

Mácha etched his name in Czech wrestling folklore when he captured the men’s Greco-Roman 74 kilograms title at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Victory over Greece’s Petros Galaktopoulos in the final saw Mácha join discus thrower Ludvík Daněk as the only gold medal winners from the Czech team at Munich 1972.

Mácha became a double Olympic medallist when he sealed silver in the same category at Montreal 1976.

He also stood atop the podium twice at the World Championships, winning gold in 1974 and 1977.

Other career highlights included five European medals comprising of a gold in 1977 as well as two silvers and two bronzes.

Mácha was a four-time Olympian having featured at Mexico City 1968 and made his final Olympic appearance at Moscow 1980 where he finished sixth.

After ending his career as a wrestler, Mácha moved into coaching and was elected onto the ČOV Executive Committee in 1990.

Mácha was also in charge of the Wrestling Association of the Czech Republic from 1993 until 1996 and was inducted into the United World Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2019.

"I was deeply saddened by the news of Vítězslav Mácha’s death," said Wrestling Association of the Czech Republic chairman Robert Mazouch.

"Vítězslav was the only Czechoslovak wrestler who stood on the Olympic podium with a gold medal around his neck, later he was able to add a silver medal.

"We were aware of his deteriorating health and had high hopes for his recovery.

"However, this did not happen and today a role model has died that all wrestlers want to be close to.

"A wrestling legend passed away today, but he will live forever in our hearts."