In Sports News this Monday: Czechs match historic medals total at European Indoor Championships with seven; snowboarder Ledecká triumphs in Kayseri; Arsenal, Čech, title chances evaporate after loss to Liverpool.
The 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade have wrapped up and what a championship this was for Czech athletes who clinched a total of seven medals overall, matching a 17-year-long record.
At the centre of it all was sprinter Pavel Maslák, who made history by winning the first treble in the men’s indoor 400m dash, finishing with a time of 45.77 seconds ahead of Poland's Rafal Omelko with 46.08 while the Netherlands' Liemarvin Bonevacia came third with a time of 46.26.
Maslák had previously won gold at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg in 2013 and Prague in 2015. After his triumph, he wasn’t done yet. On Sunday, the 26-year-old sprinter he and fellow teammates won bronze in the 4x400m relay. Here’s what the athlete said.
“After I won the 400m final on Saturday, I felt more at ease and the burden fell away. The final day was calmer, more euphoric.”
The team’s Jan Tesař, who ran second, summed up the race like this:
“My part in the race was not a complete a success, a let myself get blocked a little, but somehow I finished my run and luckily we have Pavel and he took care of it.”
Along with bronze in the relay and Maslák’s gold, the Czech Republic also got silver medals from Zuzana Hejnová in the women's 400m and Tomáš Staněk in shot put, and bronze medals from Adam Sebastian Helcelet in the Men’s Heptathlon, Filip Sasínek in the Men’s 1500m, and Petr Svoboda in the men’s 60m hurdles. The Czechs previously won seven medals in Ghent, Belgium in the year 2000.
Ester Ledecká won the snowboard giant parallel slalom in Kayseri, Turkey on Sunday, a day after the race was delayed due to heavy fog. In the race, the Czech competitor edged Japanese opponent Tomoko Takeuchi by just three one hundredths of a second. Ledecká is a medal contender at the upcoming World Championships in her event, while Eva Samková, a gold medal winner from Sochi, will be vying for a medal in snowboardcross.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech and football club Arsenal slipped to fifth spot in the Premier League on Saturday, losing decisively against Liverpool who went third. Liverpool got two unanswered goals in the first half; Danny Welbeck put the Gunners within one in the second before Liverpool added a third goal.
The Mirror reported that shoddy defense and not Čech were to blame for the first half goals, and the Daily Star quoted the Czech goalie as saying that with three points from Saturday’s game Arsenal would still have been in the chase for the title but that the squad had now fallen too far behind leaders Chelsea.
Speaking of Arsenal woes, the squad faces Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the second-leg of their Champions League match-up. Arsenal lost the first leg 5:1 so it would take a miracle for them to advance.
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