In Sports News this Monday: great success for Lukáš Bauer, who takes silver in the 15 km classic at the Nordic World Ski Championships; unfortunately, the skiathlon doesn’t go quite so well for the leading Czech cross-country skier; the Czech ladies outshine the men shooters at the European Air Weapons Championships in Prague; it’s close but no third ATP title of the season for Radek Štěpánek in Memphis; and the teams chasing leaders Slavia mess up in the first round after Czech football’s winter break.
Images of the leading Czech cross-country skier Lukáš Bauer were splashed all over the media at the weekend, after the 31-year-old took silver in the 15 km classic at the Nordic World Ski Championships, which are currently taking place at Liberec here in the Czech Republic. Given Bauer’s up-and-down season and recent illness, second place – and a career-first world championships medal – is being regarded as a great success.
There were hopes Bauer could equal that achievement or even go one better in Sunday’s skiathlon, which combines classic and skating techniques. But the many thousands of Czech fans who turned out in Liberec were disappointed to see Bauer finish way down the field in 25th. For his part, the skier was philosophical:
“As for my performance, I’m completely satisfied with how I did in the classic. And in the skating, my take is: good performance, bad result. My skis held up well on Friday, but today they didn’t. Let’s move on.”
Bauer wasn’t the only Czech taking part in Sunday’s skiathlon. Martin Koukal finished ninth, while Jiří Magál came 13th, promising placings ahead of Friday’s relay.
In sports shooting, the Czech Republic’s women did rather better than the men at the European Air Weapons Championships at Prague’s O2 Arena at the weekend. In the 10 m pistol Lenka Marušková-Hyková took bronze, as did another “double-barrelled” shooter Pavla Kalná-Habartová in the 10 m air rifle. By contrast, Czech medal hopeful Miroslav Januš came eighth in the running target and 12th in the running target mixed.
Czech tennis number one Radek Štěpánek continues his fantastic start to 2009. A week after taking winning his second title of the season in San Jose, Štěpánek reached Sunday’s final at the Memphis Championship without losing a single set. Unfortunately he lost two in the last match of the tournament, with Andy Roddick of the USA winning 7-5 7-5. Nonetheless, the Czech’s good run has seen him climb to 16th in the world rankings.
The Czech football season resumed after the winter break on Sunday, with
snow in evidence at many grounds. Leaders Slavia Prague were due to play
Plzeň on Monday evening, after the recording of this programme.
Second-placed Mladá Boleslav’s hopes of catching them suffered a blow,
after they were beaten 2:1 at home by Jablonec. Ostrava, in third, also
fell off the pace, losing 2:0 at Brno, while Sparta Prague, who are fourth,
beat Olomouc 1:0 away after the home side conceded an own-goal.
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