Czech skier Kateřina Smutná defended the bronze medal at the traditional
90km Vasaloppet race in Sweden on Sunday. The women’s race was won by
Sweden’s Britta Johansson-Norgren.
In the men’s race, Stanislav Řezáč of the Czech Republic finished in the sixth place. It was the 21st start at the Vasaloppet for the 45-year-old marathon skier, who won a total of four medals over the years. Norway's Tore Berdal took the win, finishing ahead of his compatriot Stian Holegaard.
Cross-country skiing is becoming the thing "to do" in the Czech Republic. In the past two or three decades, more Czechs preferred downhill skiing either at home or in one of Europe’s Alpine countries, such as neighbouring Austria. Nowadays, the number of cross-country skiing enthusiasts matches those who prefer to head for the slopes and lifts. Radio Prague’s Vít Pohanka visited one of the country’s popular ski resorts - Vysočina Arena in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands.
Cross country skier Lukáš Bauer, 39, confirmed on Thursday that he has definitely retired and will no longer represent the Czech Republic at a top competitive level. The winner of three Olympic medals, including one silver, and two times world championship runner up said that his appearance in March’s world championship event in Lahti, Finland, was his last for his country. He will continue to take part in long distance events only for the team he created three years ago.
In Sports News this Monday: Federer promotes Laver Cup in Prague; local Smutná wins women’s race in fiftieth edition of Jizerská padesátka cross country skiing race; no win for Koukalová on final day of successful Biathlon World Championships; and abuse of African Sparta player dominates headlines as league returns.
The Czech Republic’s Kateřina Smutná has won the women’s annual Jizerská 50, a gruelling 50 kilometre cross-country skiing race held in the Jizerská mountains near Liberec, north of Prague. She came in 10.5 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Britta Johansson Norgren. The men’s race was won by Norway’s Norten Eide Pedersen.
Norway’s Petter Eliassen has won the Jizerská padesátka cross country skiing event in North Bohemia. The first Czech to reach the finish in the famous event – which consisted of 15 circuits of a 3.5-kilometre track – was Stanislav Řezáč in 12th place. Johan Kjölstad and Anders Auckland finished second and third, respectively, to give Norway all three spots on the podium.
Organisers have been forced to curtail the famous cross country Jizerská 50 event next weekend because of the lack of snow. The circuit will be limited to between four and six kilometres with the event now spaced out over three days. Conditions have now allowed the creation of artificial snow but a natural snowfall of around 30 centimetres would be necessary for the event to return to its usual format. Forecasters say that is very unlikely in the next days. Around 4,000 contestants have already signed up for the event.