In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic come close to a famous result in Ostrava at the Floorball World Championships, eventually succumbing to the near-invincible Swedes; despite something of a fall in the world rankings, Tomáš Berdych gets the Golden Canary award for Czech tennis player of the year; and a motor rally in Prague ends in tragedy.
The Czech Republic is hosting a sports world championship from Saturday until the end of next week, though it’s quite possible you may not be familiar with the sport – floorball. Floorball was only invented three decades ago, but its popularity is spreading fast, and the world championship being held in Ostrava and Prague is set to be the biggest ever.
Fans in the capital on Monday were treated to some exciting tennis between Czech Davis Cup representative Radek Štepánek and the world’s former No. 1, retired legend Pete Sampras. Sampras remains unrivalled as a champion, having won a record 14 Grand Slam titles during his career. Even in retirement, he is still largely on top of his game.
In Sports News this Monday: Skier Šárka Záhrobská wins the first World Cup slalom event of her career; reigning World Cup winner Lukáš Bauer comes second in his second race of the season; Slavia Prague enter the winter break with a six-point lead in the Czech football league; and goalkeeper Daniel Zítka is (literally) dropped after breaking his leg in a game for club Anderlecht.
In Sports News this Monday: reigning champion Lukáš Bauer comes ninth in the first meeting of this season’s cross country skiing World Cup, though he does rather better as part of the Czech relay team; figure skater Tomáš Verner finishes second in a Grand Prix event in Moscow; Barbora Špotáková takes the IAAF award for female performance of the year for her javelin world record; Slavia Prague are eight points clear at the top of the Czech football league; and 19-year-old striker Tomáš Necid now has 11 goals in 15 games.
In Sports News this Monday: Olympic champion and javelin world record holder Barbora Špotáková is, entirely predictably, named Czech Athlete of the Year; Slavia Prague get off to a losing start in the UEFA Cup group stage – Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry tells us it was a game of two halves; and the Czech Republic’s ice hockey players finish second in Finland’s Karjala Cup.
Tuesday is a real red letter day for Czech sports fans, as a number of special events are being held to mark the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Czech Ice Hockey Association. The celebrations include the induction of dozens of people into the Czech hockey Hall of Fame, and culminate with a friendly game between the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Prague.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s handball team scores a famous victory over the Olympic champions France in a European Championships qualifier in Brno; the Czech Republic play Slovakia on Tuesday in a friendly game to mark 100 years of ice hockey in this part of the world; in football, Slavia concede their first goal at Eden this season, though two strikes from wonder-boy Necid gives them a 2:1 win over Brno; and the greatest Czech sumo wrestler ever calls it a day.
In Sports News this Monday: Rudolf Kraj fails to become the first Czech professional world boxing champion after his WBC cruiserweight title fight with Italy’s Giacobbe Fragomeni is halted in the eighth round – Kraj says the referee favoured his opponent; in football, Sparta Prague get their first win under Jozef Chovanec; Bohemians 1905 go top of the second division and celebrate the anniversary of a famous league title; and Czech ice hockey player Rostislav Klesla accidentally knocks out the New York Rangers coach.