In Sports News this Monday: no surprises as goalie Tomáš Vokoun is named Czech ice hockey player of the year; the Czech Derby at Velká Chuchle is won by a 16-year-old teenage jockey, only the second woman ever to triumph in the race; and speed skating star Martina Sáblíková wins a cycling race – can she also enjoy success at the Summer Olympics?
There were no surprises when the winner of the 42nd Zlatá hokejka or Golden Hockey Stick award was announced in Karlovy Vary on Saturday, with goaltender Tomáš Vokoun finishing some way in front in the annual poll of sports journalists. The Florida player was simply outstanding at the World Championship in Germany last month, and was instrumental as the Czech Republic claimed an unexpected gold medal. Vokoun had this to say after the awards ceremony.
“I appreciate it hugely. All you have to do is read the names that are on this trophy…just being put in the same category as such players, even once, is a great success. After all those years of playing hockey, it’s great to unwind with such recognition.”
Jaromír Jágr, who came second in this year’s Golden Hockey Stick, said that without Vokoun the Czechs wouldn’t have won the World Championship, and he himself might not even have been in the hall on Saturday night.
The Czech Derby at Prague’s Velká Chuchle was won on Sunday by only the second woman in the race’s history. What’s more, at only 16 years of age, Maria Magdalena Rossak also became the youngest rider to triumph in the most prestigious event in the Czech flat racing season, after the Slovak jockey was first across the finish line on the three-year-old Talgado in a record time of two minutes 28:46 seconds.
Martina Sáblíková became a huge star in the Czech Republic when she won two gold medals in speed skating at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February. But what are the chances of more success at the Summer Olympics in two years’ time in another sport entirely? Sáblíková, who is 23, has begun employing her remarkable stamina in cycling, coming first in the mass start 100 kilometres at Czech national championship at the weekend. Now her coach says he is looking into what she needs to do to qualify for London 2012.
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