Without question 2006 is a year to look forward to in Czech sport: from Olympic hockey to the football World Cup. Both tournaments are taking place just around the corner, in Italy and Germany, so a lot of Czechs will be on the move, both fans - and reporters. Jan Velinger spoke to Jan Palicka, a senior writer for Mlada Fronta Dnes, and asked him how he saw Czech prospects this year:
In Sports News: Jakub Janda becomes only the second Czech to win the Four Hills ski jumping tournament, though he shares first place with his biggest rival; cross country skier Lukas Bauer finishes second for the second weekend in a row; teenage tennis player Lucie Safarova wins the third WTA title of her career in Australia's Gold Coast; and ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr maintains his lead in the NHL players' points table.
In this rather seasonal Sports News: seventy-one hardy fellows (and ladies) brave the freezing River Vltava for an annual St Stephen's Day swim; former football internationals take part in an annual indoor tournament; Milan Baros scores while Petr Cech makes a terrible error; and Vladimir Ruzicka Jr follows in his father's footsteps, scoring his first goal in the national ice hockey league at 16.
In Sports News: ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr has been named Czech Sportsman of the Year for the first time; world champion cross country skier Katerina Neumannova says she doesn't mind finishing second, while third placed Jakub Janda wins another ski jumping World Cup event; the Czech ice hockey team lose all of their three games in Moscow's Rosno Cup; and Arsenal are reportedly keen to sign Czech footballer Tomas Rosicky.
In Sports News: ski jumper Jakub Janda is on top of the world after notching up his second win of the season - next stop the Czech Republic's Harrachov; dubious penalties decisions for Sparta and Liberec mar the weekend's football league action; and an injury to Czech ice hockey star Robert Lang could be a lucky break for young forward Jiri Hudler.
Czech ice hockey forward Jaromir Jagr is currently atop the NHL's players' list of goals and assists, one point ahead of Swedish star Peter Forsberg. Jagr has had 20 goals and 17 assists for his team the New York Rangers since the start of the season, for a total of 37. Most recently Jagr helped his team defeat the Buffalo Sabres in a deciding shoot-out.
In Sports News: decathlete Roman Sebrle is named Czech Athlete of the Season for the fourth year in a row, after finishing second this year at the World Championships; cross country skier Katerina Neumannova begins this "Olympic" season in fifth place; Liberec knock Slavia Prague off the top of the Czech ice hockey league; and footballer Milan Baros nets his first goal in two months.
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