In Sports News: as the Olympics draw near, cross country skier Katerina Neumannova wins her third World Cup race in a row; ski jumper Jakub Janda vows to quit ski flying, and denies German allegations that he cheats; footballer Tomas Repka rejoins Sparta Prague after eight years abroad; and most Czech tennis players go through on day one of the Australian Open.
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: the Czech Republic will face Italy, Ghana and the United States in the group stage at next year's football world cup - we get the reaction of Czech manager Karel Bruckner; Karel Poborsky is definitely not returning to Sparta Prague; and ski jumper Jakub Janda becomes the first Czech in over two decades to win a World Cup event in front of a domestic audience.
On Wednesday night Czech football side Sparta Prague had one last chance at redemption in what has been a truly miserable autumn season: a win over 3rd place Swiss side Thun would not have gotten Sparta through to the next stage of the Champions League, but it would have at least guaranteed the team a place in the other major European tournament, the UEFA Cup. But, it was not to be. Sparta failed to raise their game, and came up short - again.