In Sports News this Monday: Veselý’s long awaited javelin gold gives the Czechs three medals at World Athletics Championships; Berdych reaches career-high fifth in world rankings; Sparta sell Kadlec to Frankfurt; and Plzeň prepare to host Maribor in Champions League playoff.
Veselý gives Czechs second gold in Moscow
With two golds and one bronze, the Czech Republic finished a creditable eighth in the medals table at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, which concluded on Sunday. The second of those two gold medals came for Vítězslav Veselý in the javelin, a discipline in which the Czechs are a real world power. Topping the podium as world champion was the culmination of a long slog for the 31-year-old, who a decade ago had quit sport entirely due to persistent injuries. Veselý, who is trained by the great Jan Železný, had come fourth at the Olympics and the last World Championships – and is enjoying finally claiming top spot.
“But not because of those fourth places. That’s how it worked out – I was fourth in that moment. The satisfaction is really because of all the work I put in and because of the work of the people around me, like Jan Železný. I’m really glad that things have worked out as they have.”
The Czech Republic’s other two medals in Moscow were gold for Zuzana Hejnová in the women’s 400m hurdles and bronze for Lukáš Melich in the hammer throw.
Berdych moves up to career-best fifth in rankings
The top Czech men’s tennis player, Tomáš Berdych, has just become fifth in the world, the highest ranking of his career. The 27-year-old climbed from sixth place, a ranking now occupied by Roger Federer, after reaching the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Open last week. Berdych says he deserves to be where he is.
“I’m glad that it worked out. It counts for even more when you leapfrog Roger, who isn’t getting the kind of results he used to. But that said, I have the most points I’ve ever had at this point in the season, so I don’t think it’s because somebody else isn’t doing well – it’s mainly because my own season has been successful.”
Sparta sell Kadlec to Frankfurt
One of the most highly rated young players in the Czech football league is moving on. Sparta Prague announced on Sunday that they had reached a deal to sell striker Václav Kadlec to the Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt for an estimated EUR 3.2 million. Though only 21, Kadlec has been a regular with Sparta for several seasons.
Top two Plzeň and Sparta play out goalless draw
Sparta were captained by Kadlec on Saturday night when they travelled to Viktoria Plzeň for the most hotly anticipated game in the Czech top flight so far this term. However, in the end the match was no great spectacle and finished 0:0. That result leaves Plzeň on top of the table, ahead of Sparta on goal difference.
Plzeň to host Maribor in Champions League playoff
On Tuesday Plzeň host the Slovenian side Maribor in the first leg of their playoff tie to reach the Champions League. The West Bohemians have acquired valuable European experience in recent years; they made it into the Champions League for the first time in 2011, while last season they topped a Europa League group that included Napoli.