In Sports News: Czech figure skater Michal Březina clinches bronze at the European Figure Skating Championships in Zagreb; speed skater Karolína Erbanová improved her own Czech record at the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City; in tennis Radek Štepánek will miss the opening round of the Davis Cup; Prague football club Slavia celebrates 120th anniversary.
The Czech Football Association has suspended an investigation into a dispute that began four months ago, when Sparta Prague accused Viktoria Plzeň, at present its chief rival, of having bribed referees to influence a game. On Wednesday, the FA decided to wait for the results of a police investigation into the case before it takes a position. It has also said that it will no longer carry out its own inquiries into any such cases and will refer them to the police. I spoke to a reporter from the daily Sport, Pavel Kalouš, about the latest development
Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych, seeded 5th at the Australian Open, hit a wall on Tuesday in the form of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Although he showed moments of inspiration, he lost two sets very lopsidedly, twice giving Djokovic easy leads. Berdych hung on briefly in the fourth, trying to claw his way back into the match, but it wasn’t enough.
In Sports News: Czech skier Lukáš Bauer comes in second in the Czech Republic’s biggest cross-country skiing event, the Jizerská padesátka; speed skater Sáblíková is closed out of the medals at the European Allround Speed Skating championships; Berdych, four other Czech tennis players advance, clinch opening round wins at Australian Open; legendary hockey forward Jaromír Jágr has trained for the first time with new club the Dallas Stars.
In Sports News this Monday: The end of the NHL lockout means an exodus of stars from the Czech Extraliga – Jaromír Jágr says “it’s been great”, while the Kladno coach says the players’ presence did a lot for the domestic game; Lukáš Bauer is weighing up participation in the Jizerská padesátka after a tough Tour de Ski; and Petra Kvitová’s season has got off to a poor start.
In Sports News this Monday: in football’s Europa League, Plzeň beat title holders Atletico to win their group; Czech FA boss approaches UEFA over corruption in domestic league; Czech men finish seventh at world floorball championships, and discus thrower Věra Cechlová is set to receive bronze from Athens Olympics after IOC disqualifies four medallists over doping.
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.