Perhaps the most talented Czech soccer player of his generation Tomáš Rosický has just signed a contract extension with his club Arsenal. The new deal can be seen as expression of faith in the 29-year-old, who has missed much of the last two years through injury. But is Rosický now capable of returning to the form that made him such a star in the first place?
In Sports News: former world champion Šárka Záhrobská comes fifth in a slalom World Cup event in Zagreb; Lukáš Bauer does well in the Tour de Ski’s 15 km classic, but is left frustrated after an unusually poor showing in the sprint; and Czech driver Tomáš Tomeček is forced to pull out of the Dakar Rally after his Tatra truck crashes in the opening stage.
2009 has been a rather mixed year for Czech sport. Perhaps the biggest single story was the national soccer team’s failure to reach the World Cup, despite having a relatively easy group on paper. The Czech men’s tennis team, meanwhile, went on a remarkable run in the Davis Cup, only to lose to Spain in the final. And in athletics, Barbora Špotáková took the Czech Republic’s only medal, silver in the women’s javelin, at the Athletics World Championships in Berlin.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czechs get off to a very poor start at the ice hockey Under 20 World Championship in Canada, being hammered by Sweden and squandering a three-goal lead against Finland; anticipation mounts ahead of the announcement of the Czech hockey squad for the Winter Olympics; and Slavia Prague have now lost eight games out of 10 in the Czech Extraliga.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic have a mixed time of it at ice hockey’s Channel One Cup, taking points in all of their games but never the maximum three; David Bakeš notches up a career-best fourth in a Snowboardcross Cup event in Colorado; and the erratic Czech footballer Jan Šimák has been shown the door by Stuttgart.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s tennis player of the year is…the country’s whole Davis Cup team; the Czech women’s floorball team reach the last four at the World Championship for the first time, but come home empty handed; speed skater Martina Sáblíková wins a World Cup 3000m race in her second best time; and Sparta and Slavia face their last games of 2009 in football’s Europa League, though only the former have something to play for.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czechs lose 5:0 to Spain in the final of the Davis Cup in Barcelona – Radek Štěpánek says the Spanish deserved their victory; injury-dogged Tomáš Rosický is “devastated” after picking up a groin strain that will see him sidelined for around a month; and Plzeň move to the top of the ice hockey Extraliga.
The Czech men’s tennis team failed to repeat the success of Czechoslovakia in the Davis Cup in 1980, losing 5:0 to Spain in the final in Barcelona at the weekend. Things started poorly when Tomáš Berdych lost to Rafael Nadal, and got worse when David Ferrer dispatched the Czechs’ other star name, Radek Štěpánek. When that pairing lost to Spain in Saturday’s doubles, it was all over, and the Czech coach gave a run to the relatively inexperienced Jan Hájek and Lukáš Dlouhý for the two remaining matches on Sunday.
In this week’s Sports News, Czech preparations go smoothly for the Davis Cup clash with Spain; Šárka Záhrobská does what she does best in Aspen, Colorado, with another downhill slalom World Cup victory; and Sparta Prague catch up to Teplice at the top of the football league, although the flu-struck league leaders were allowed to make an early start to the winter break.