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
In this edition of In Focus: extreme high diver Michal Navrátil talks about his sport including his recent trademark jump at the Worlds. If you are afraid of heights, understand that the professional regularly dives from 27 metres, reaching a velocity of 90 kilometres per hour when he breaks the water. Don’t even think about trying anything like this unless you’ve had years of training!
In Sports News this Monday: Plzeň make it nine points out of nine (and 13 goals in three games) with trouncing of Ostrava in Czech top flight; Sparta are neck and neck with win over Brno, though four fans are injured as storm fells tree; Eintracht Frankfurt are eyeing Sparta’s Kadlec; and swimmer Chocová is disqualified in final at 50m breaststroke in Barcelona.
In Sports News this Monday: Hejnová sets new Czech record in 400m hurdles and tops Diamond League podium yet again; Sparta apologise to fans for rapid exit from European competition, while Plzeň prepare to play Estonia’s Kalju in Champions League qualifier; Dukla’s Pospěch equals record for goals scored in Czech top flight game; and golfer Spilková achieves her best placing to date on Ladies European Tour.