In Sports News: the Czech women's basketball team beat Russia in a dramatic final to win the European Championships for the first time ever; the new Czech ice hockey season begins after a five-month break, minus most of the NHL stars who were such a draw last term; Sparta win in the domestic football league but look shaky on the eve of their Champions League campaign; and Rudolf Skacel equals a goal-scoring record in Scotland.
Czech ice hockey star has departed for the US to return to the NHL, where he will honour his commitment to the New York Rangers. The forward, who led the Czechs to gold at this year's World Ice Hockey Championships in Vienna, played in Europe throughout the NHL lockout, first for his hometown of Kladno, and then Russia's Omsk. Departing on Sunday from Ruzyne airport Jagr was in good humour, reportedly telling journalists he hoped to shed a few extra pounds during training camp.
In Sports News: Vaidisova and Berdych are the best of the Czechs at tennis's US Open, though once again no Czechs make it through to the second week at a Grand Slam tournament; the national football team's chances of reaching next year's World Cup suffer a setback with a 2:0 defeat to Romania, while several players are set to miss Wednesday's game against Armenia; the Czech Republic takes two medals at the World Rowing Championships; and the country's ice hockey team come third in the Ceska pojistovna Cup
Just over a year ago the Czech Republic lost one of its great sports heroes. Former hockey player and later national team coach Ivan Hlinka was killed in a car accident - at the height of his fame. A year on, an exhibition has opened in Prague as a tribute to the man who led the Czech hockey team from one victory to another.
In Sports News: the Czechs get off to a poor start at the World Athletics Championships, but Cechlova-Pospisilova and Sebrle are hopeful of medals in the next few days; ice hockey star Hejduk extends his contract at Colorado; Sparta Prague begin the new football season with a win, while Slavia drop two points at home; and American basketball player Maurice Whitfield makes his debut for the Czech Republic.
Two Czech hockey stars have reportedly signed on to play for the NHL's New York Rangers. Forward Martin Straka and defender Marek Malik, who during the NHL lockout have played in the Czech Elite League for the Plzen and Vitkovice teams respectively, are to join their national team mate Jaromir Jagr, who now plays in Russia. During the 2003-04 season, the last before the lockout, 71 Czechs were playing in the NHL.
Jaromir Jagr, perhaps the most successful Czech ice hockey player of all time, has just taken a break from training ahead of the new season to try his hand in a new profession: acting. However, his role in a Czech Television serial shouldn't be too taxing for the megastar forward: he is playing himself.
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