In this weeks sports news, the Czech Republic progresses to the Davis Cup quarter finals; the national hockey team sees one debacle and one triumph; Czech basketball player Jan Veselý helps his NBA team to victory and ski jumper Roman Koudelka scores a career-best jump.
The Czech Republic beat Italy 4-1 at the Davis Cup tennis tournament over the weekend, setting up a quarter-final encounter with Serbia, who defeated Sweden 4-1. The first round matches between Italy and the Czech Republic were played between 10th and 12th February in Ostrava’s ČEZ arena. On Friday, no. 7 seed Tomáš Berdych beat no. 135 seed Simone Bolelli in four sets, while the no. 30 seed, 33-year-old Radek Štepánek beat Andreas Seppi also in four sets. On Saturday, Berdych and Štepánek teamed up against Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace, in a doubles game, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. On Sunday, Bolelli defeated no. 20 seed František Čermák 6-4, 6-4 while no. 78 seed Lukáš Rosol beat no. 42 seed Anreaes Seppi 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The quarter finals against last year’s semi-finalists Serbia – the Czech Republic was defeated in the first round in 2011 - are set to take place 6-8th April.
The Czech national ice hockey team played three matches between Thursday and Sunday at the Swedish-based Euro Hockey Tour. Only four teams take part in the annual contest launched in 1996 – Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Czech Republic – with matches played across four separate tournaments in all of the competing countries. The latest round, called the Oddset Hockey Games saw the Czech Republic under coach Alois Hadamczik, beat Russia 4:0, with an early goal from Jakub Nakládal in the second minute, followed by a second from Petr Nedvěd in the fifteenth minute, a third from Kamil Kreps in the thirty-third minute and the fourth just five minutes from the end of the third period from Petr Koukal. The win came after a devastating 0-7 defeat to Finland the previous day, and a 2:1 victory over Sweden on Thursday. Current standings have Sweden in first place with 7 points, the Czech Republic in second place with five points. Sweden and Finland are in joint third place with three points.
211cm-tall Czech basketball player Jan Veselý helped bring his NBA team the Washington Wizards to victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday with a 98-77 win. Veselý scored 10 points and provided seven rebounds, a career high for the Ostrava-born twenty-one-year old. The player, who was drafted to the Wizards in 2011, saw the team up 26-18 in the first quarter, but the Pistons managed to even out the score by half-time 45-45. Nearing the end of the third quarter, the Pistons – unbeaten for four games in a row – were ahead before the rest of the match saw a 22:2 scoring spree from the Wizards. Veselý’s teammates Nicky Young and Javelle McGee also had a particularly strong game, scoring 22 and 11 points respectively.
Czech ski jumper Roman Koudelka came in second place at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Willingen, Germany. The twenty-two year-old Koudelka managed a career-high jumping 147.5 and146.5m and earning 270.3 points. The Turnov-born jumper was beaten only by Anders Bardal of Norway, who earned 277 points for jumps of 145.5m and 148m. The competition continues on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.