In Sports News this Monday: Berdych and Štěpánek lead holders Czech Republic to third Davis Cup final in five years, though non-playing captain says Serbia will be demanding environment; Czechs take three golds at World Canoe Slalom Championship; and Plzeň drop points ahead of Man City clash in Champions League.
Czech league titleholders Viktoria Plzeň have booked a spot in the Champions League this season after they defeated the Slovenian side Maribor 4:1 on aggregate in the competition’s final round of qualification. Plzeň have extended their respectable winning streak in the Champions League, advancing to the group stage for the second time in three years.
In Sports News from the past week: Slovan Liberec pulled off an unexpected victory against Udine in the Europa League qualifying match; Tennis player Petra Kvitová failed to defend her title at the New Haven Open; Only Jakub Kornfeil managed to win any points at the Moto Grand Prix in Brno; And canoeist Kateřina Hošková took second place at the slalom cup in Bratislava.
Anyone interested in the history of athletics will have heard of Emil Zátopek, the greatest Czech long-distance runner of all time. His life story is the subject of a short novel by the Prix Goncourt winning French writer, Jean Echenoz, called simply “Running” – “Courir” in the original French. The book is an account of the life of an athlete whose quiet, determined attitude towards his sport contrasted with the complex political dramas going on around him in mid-20th century Europe. David Vaughan looks at the book and at the life of Emil