Two weeks ago the Czech football club Slavia Prague suffered a humiliating 7:0 hammering at the hands of Arsenal, in one of the heaviest defeats in the history of the Champions League. On Wednesday night Slavia had the chance to make amends when they played host to the famous London club in Prague. And make amends they did, turning in a creditable performance, and winning a valuable point.
In Sports News: Slavia Prague go six points clear at the top of the Czech football league with a win over Teplice, though they lose captain Stanislav Vlcek ahead of a Champions League clash with Arsenal; Sparta are now second in the league after a 5:0 demolition of Most; Slavia Prague are also at the top of the Czech ice hockey league, after a win over Liberec; and Czech motorcyclist Lukas Pesek reflects on a "wild" season in which he finished fourth in the 125cc championship.
In Sports News: a convincing win for Sparta Prague gives under-pressure coach Michal Bilek a reprieve; Bohemians 1905 leapfrog Most with a 1:0 win to get off the bottom of the table; tennis ace Nicole Vaidisova comes agonisingly close to her first WTA final for a year and a half; Tomas Berdych is hoping a good run at the Paris Masters could see him into elite the Masters Cup in Shanghai; and world slalom champion Sarka Zahrobska isn't too upset with coming 20th in her first race of the new skiing season.
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.