In Sports News: Czech football captain Tomas Rosicky returns after a month's lay-off to score for Arsenal; Jiri Jarosik plays a rare game for Glasgow Celtic, but comes off on the losing side in the world famous Old Firm derby; Petr Cech is among the nominees for European footballer of the year; Slavia are five points clear in the Czech football league; and tennis star Nicole Vaidisova loses to the world number one in the Czechs first semi-final appearance since the Australian Open.
The Czech Republic's national football squad went a long way on Wednesday to repairing a somewhat bruised reputation by securing a sensational win few expected to see: a 3:0 defeat of Germany at the shiny Allianz stadium in Munich. The win saw the Czechs join Germany in qualifying for next year's European Championship held in Austria and Switzerland.
Although the Czech Republic is better known in sporting circles for its ice hockey and football prowess, it also has a surprisingly strong horse-racing tradition, which dates back to the days of the Habsburg Empire. For well over a century, the highlight of the racing season in this country has been the Velka Pardubicka steeplechase, which is sometimes known as the "Czech Grand National".
In Sports News this week: Sixteen ridden by Dusan Andres wins the Czech Republic's most famous horse race, the Velka Pardubicka steeplechase; Czech motorcyclist Lukas Pesek wins the second Grand Prix of his career in Australia; and captain Tomas Rosicky is set to play in Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifier against Germany.
One of the country's leading football referees, Dagmar Damkova, reached a career milestone last week when she officiated at the women's World Cup semi-final in China. Her presence at the game was also a landmark for Czech football: no Czech referee has gotten as far. I spoke to Mrs Damkova right after she came back from China and began by asking about her impressions from the tournament.
In Sports News: Sparta Prague leave it late to take all three points against Jablonec, while Slavia run riot in a 7:1 win over Zlin; the Czech women's basketball team bounce back after an embarrassing defeat by Germany to overcome Lithuania at the European Championships; Tomas Berdych suffers a surprise exit in the semi-finals at the Thailand Open; and the Czechs draw Belgium in the Davis Cup World Group.
In Sports News: Radek Stepanek plays through the pain barrier in a tie against Switzerland to help the Czech Republic maintain their place at the top table in tennis's Davis Cup; after their successful start in the Champions League, Slavia Prague are brought back to earth with a bang by Bohemians 1905 in the Czech first division; canoeist Stepanka Hilgertova takes bronze at the Slalom World Championships; and world champion Barbora Spotakova extends her own Czech record in the javelin.
"The Dream Continues" is how the Czech daily Sport titled Wednesday night's triumph, referring to football side Slavia's win in the team's first ever Champions League match. Slavia downed Steaua Bucharest 2:1 in the group stage game held at Prague's Evzen Rosicky stadium, earning their first three points.