The Czech football clubs Viktoria Plzeň and Sparta Prague are in the happy situation of going into their final group games in the Europa League on Thursday night having already qualified for the knock-out phase of Europe’s second-tier club competition. Their success means that it will be the first time in nine years that Czech teams are still performing on the international stage after Christmas. What is behind their success? That’s a question RP put to Karel Häring, from the Czech daily Sport.
In Sports News this Monday: Plzeň top ice hockey’s Extraliga going into the second half of the regular season; defender Marek Židlický waves goodbye after a successful return to his first club Kladno; the Czechs hammer Japan at the World Floorball Championships; and Viktoria Plzeň play Atletico Madrid to decide on top spot in their Europa League group.
Jan Kodeš recently lined up with the rest of the 1980 Davis Cup winning team alongside the Czech team that won this year’s trophy, amid joyous scenes at Prague’s O2 Arena. Kodeš, who is 66, was a member of the Czechoslovak Davis Cup side for 17 years, and later served as its non-playing captain. But his greatest successes came as a player at the French Open, which he won twice, and Wimbledon, where he lifted the trophy once.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech swimmers enjoy success at the European Short Course Swimming Championships, bringing home seven medals; the domestic soccer league goes into its winter break, with Jablonec’s David Lafata on 13 goals in 16 games; and guess which Czech athletics legend was among the first dozen inductees into the new IAAF Hall of Fame.
The International Festival of Outdoor Films has been bringing quality documentary, travel and extreme sport films to the Czech Republic and Slovakia over the last decade. In its 10th year, this year’s inception, which kicked off in Ostrava in October before travelling from town to town and city and city, is more than halfway through. In early December it is will wrap up in Prague with the winning films announced.
In Sports News this Monday: The Czech men’s tennis team scored a famous victory at the weekend, beating Spain in the final of the Davis Cup to take the title for the first time as an independent state. The hero of the hour, veteran Radek Štěpánek, says he is “living the dream” and that the presence at Prague’s O2 Arena of the Czechoslovak team that took the trophy in 1980 made the occasion all the sweeter.
All eyes will be on Prague’s O2 Arena this weekend, when the Czech Republic take on Spain in the final of tennis’s Davis Cup. The last time the Czechs – as part of Czechoslovakia – won the prestigious title was back in 1980, and victory would be the crowning achievement of Tomáš Berdych, Radek Štěpánek and their teammates.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s ice hockey players win the Karjala Cup for the first time in 18 attempts; Barbora Špotáková becomes Czech Athlete of the Year for the sixth year in a row; the Czech men’s tennis team are preparing to meet Spain in the Davis Cup final in Prague; Viktoria Plzeň go top in the Czech soccer league; and the national team have gathered ahead of a friendly against Slovakia.
What should have been an exciting and above all safe automobile race for spectators in the region of Slovácko on Saturday, the RallyShow Uherský Brod, ended in tragedy when one of the vehicles, car No. 27, flew off the road into nearby spectators. Four people were killed. The darkest day in Czech rally history left many in shock and many unanswered questions.