In Sports News: Czech driver Roman Kresta comes fifth in the Rally of Catalunya, matching his career-best position; the crisis at Sparta Prague football club continues with a home defeat to Olomouc - not the best preparation for a Champions League game at Arsenal; and Milan Baros says his club Aston Villa may not release him for the World Cup play-offs unless he gets fit soon.
The Czech-German border is one of history's fault lines, for centuries a place of tension between the German and the Slav worlds. For many people the events of 1938, when Hitler annexed the Czech border regions are still in living memory, and after the war almost the entire German minority of Czechoslovakia was forcibly expelled. But although we often hear about Czech-German tensions, on the ground things today are very different. Once closely guarded borders are open and cross-border relations are friendly and for the most part break the stereotype.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic will face Norway in the football World Cup play-offs, while former captain Pavel Nedved surprises many by saying he is available for the two games; Sparta Prague get off to a winning start under new manager Stanislav Griga; Slavia ice hockey club lose for the first time this season; and Nicole Vaidisova climbs to 17th in tennis's world rankings after taking three WTA titles in as many weeks.
There was huge relief for Czech football fans on Wednesday evening, when the Czech Republic beat Finland 3:0 to secure second place in their group, and a berth in the play-offs for next year's World Cup in Germany. Anything less than a win would have spelled the end of a dream for many Czech fans - they may never again have the chance to support their heroes in such a competition so near home.
It's make or break time for the Czech football team: on Saturday they face the Netherlands in the first of two crucial qualifying games for next year's World Cup, a competition they last reached way back in 1990. If the Czechs beat Group 1 leaders Holland, and Finland next Wednesday, they could secure themselves an automatic World Cup place. But several important players are out injured and it won't be easy. I caught up with Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech at the team's Prague hotel, and asked him if he and his teammates were nervous ahead of the big
In Sports News: Czech women's tennis number one Nicole Vaidisova wins the third WTA title of her career in Seoul, while men's number one Radek Stepanek is beaten in the final of the Vietnam Open; the Czech football team are under pressure, with several players out or doubtful for their last two World Cup qualifiers; and Stepanka Hilgertova comes fourth in the World Slalom Championships but isn't hanging her kayak up just yet.
Dragon boats have been plying their way up and down Czech rivers for nearly ten years. When Sebastian Pawlowski and Hajo Libor had the idea of starting dragon boat racing in the Czech Republic they didn't dream that Czech teams would have so much success. They hold three world records and have won numerous medals in both world and European competitions. Hajo Libor explains what makes the Czechs so successful at this unusual sport.