In Sports News this Monday: No Time to Lose wins 127th Velká Pardubická Grand Steeplechase; national football squad wraps-up disappointing qualification for World Cup; Calgary Jágr fans “the Jags” surprised by legendary No. 68 himself.
No Time To Lose won the Velká Pardubická Grand Steeplechase on the last jump and last stretch on Sunday. The horse ridden by jockey Jan Kratochvíl won for the first time, while Urgent de Gregaine, ridden by Felix de Giles came second.
Here’s how the announcer called it:
“A huge finish is underway between the horses Francouz and Urgent de Gregaine or it will be No Time To Lose from Josef Váňa. No Time to Lose wins the 127th Velká Pardubická Grand Steeplechase…!!”
Moments after his win, here is what the jockey had to say:
“It’s a dream come true and I am really very grateful. I want to thank everyone for their support, from our trainer to the owner to everyone on our team. I am really very happy.”
No Time to Lose was trained by the legendary former rider Josef Váňa, the Czech Republic’s most successful jockey in history, giving him a tenth win as a trainer. He heaped praise on Jan Kratochvíl:
“Sometimes when I see him racing out there, I think it’s me! He’s good!”
Váňa even joked that he might race No Time To Lose at the Velká Pardubická next year.
The Czech national football team wrapped up its unsuccessful campaign to make it to the World Cup in Russia next year, albeit with a 5:0 win over football minnows San Marino. It was the Czech squad’s second win in a row that leaves the team in third spot in Group C. Czech fans of the beautiful game will have to root for someone else in the absence of their team.
Fans of Jaromír Jágr in Calgary, known as the Jags complete with wigs honouring the players famous mullet, couldn’t be happier that the future hall-of-famer and legendary No. 68 signed with their club last week.
Although the player warned at the official announcement he hadn’t trained with a club in five months and that it would take some time to get up to speed, he trained for the first time with the Flames, joking afterwards in typical Jágr style that he was glad he had survived.
He didn’t play in the Battle of Alberta or against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, where the Flames stormed back from a 3-1 deficit in the first, to a 6-3 win. But his fans certainly hope he will take to the ice soon. They spoke to Czech Radio just recently:
“He is great! A legend!”
“He is 45 and still great at what he does!”
“To have Jagr call this team his home town is whoooooh!”
It turns out that Jágr rewarded them with a surprise visit, presenting them with a signed jersey. He joked that if it turned out he played worse than expected…
“I’m just gonna stay here the whole year and we’re just gonna party!”