In Sports News this Monday: Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková wins a third 5000 m world title in Vancouver, despite health problems and a collision with a competitor; Plzeň advance to the semi-finals in the ice hockey Extraliga playoffs after beating Pardubice in the longest game in the competition’s history; Slavia take another step towards retaining the Czech football league title; and Sparta offer to refund fans if they fail to score.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic beat France to reach the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup in front of a home crowd in Ostrava; Roman Šebrle comes third in the heptathlon at the European Indoor Athletics Championships, with his bronze one of three Czech medals in Turin; Karlovy Vary are the first club into the Extraliga playoffs semi-finals; and 19-year-old footballer Tomáš Necid makes a dream start in Russia with a cup-winning goal.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic take just one medal at a controversial Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec; the fans aren’t happy with only three goals scored in six Czech football league games at the weekend; the ice hockey Extraliga playoffs get underway; and the Czech tennis team are in Ostrava ahead of a Davis Cup first round tie with France.
Two of the Czech Republic’s most famous footballers, Pavel Nedvěd of Juventus Turin and Chelsea’s Petr Čech faced off for the first time on Wednesday in the Champions League. The closely-played match saw Chelsea clinch the narrowest of wins ahead of the second-leg on March 10. Nevertheless, for Czech fans the match-up between Nedvěd and Čech was something of a special event, not least because the Juve midfielder has said he will soon retire from the game.
The Czech tennis player Radek Štěpánek is so far having a fantastic 2009. He had taken two singles titles in his whole 13-year professional career prior to this season. However, since the start of January the in-form 30-year-old has won two more titles, missing out on a third when he was beaten in the final of the Memphis Championship on Sunday.
In Sports News this Monday: great success for Lukáš Bauer, who takes silver in the 15 km classic at the Nordic World Ski Championships; unfortunately, the skiathlon doesn’t go quite so well for the leading Czech cross-country skier; the Czech ladies outshine the men shooters at the European Air Weapons Championships in Prague; it’s close but no third ATP title of the season for Radek Štěpánek in Memphis; and the teams chasing leaders Slavia mess up in the first round after Czech football’s winter break.
The Czech football league resumed after the winter break on Sunday. But the story that made the evening headlines was not who won but fan violence at a game between Brno and Ostrava. The weekend’s matches were the first under new rules stipulating that the clubs themselves - and not the country’s police force – are responsible for security. But hooligans at the game in Brno proved too much to handle for privately hired security guards and, as in the past, police in riot gear were called in.
This weekend Prague is hosting the European Air Weapons Championships, an indoor shooting event that takes place at the city’s O2 Arena. Czech 10-m air rifle Olympic champion Kateřina Emmons, whose American husband Matthew Emmons also has an Olympic gold in his medals collection, is pregnant and not competing, though she will be in attendance. On the eve of the championships, I asked Kateřina Emmons if shooting had become more popular in the Czech Republic in the wake of her success.
All eyes are on the northern town of Liberec at the moment for the Nordic World Ski Championships, described as the biggest sports event the Czech Republic has ever held. But the championships are attracting scrutiny of a different kind – this week the Supreme Audit Office filed criminal charges last week for fraud, loan fraud, and breach of trust.
This Wednesday evening sees the start of the Nordic World Ski Championship in Liberec – the most notable sports event in the Czech Republic in 2009. Never before have the Czechs hosted the Worlds, and all eyes here will be on Czech hopefuls, most notably last year’s World Cup cross-country skiing winner Lukáš Bauer.