Last year Martin Koukal shot to fame with gold at the Cross Country Skiing World Championships. This year, however, things have not been going to well for the young star, who came 45th in the latest round of the World Cup on Sunday. In football, the Czech Republic have once again drawn the Netherlands, this time in their qualifying group for the 2006 World Cup. Meanwhile, Lazio have arrived in Prague ahead of Tuesday's crucial Champions League tie against Sparta. In ice hockey, Pardubice are really pulling away from the rest of the Extraliga: after
Among today's headlines in sport: Ostrava Banik remain unbeaten in the Czech first division / Football side Olomouc blanks Slavia at home for first time in 8 years / Hockey goalie Hasek notches first shutout of the season / Czechs help Ottawa Senators trounce Montreal / Koukal achieves career high in 15 km cross-country skiing freestyle sprint.
After 16 years without a Czech medal in individual competition, two Czech biathlonists made it to the podium at the sport's World Championships in Siberia on Saturday. The Czechs took only one medal at the European Indoor Atheltics Championships in Birmingham, when Roman Sebrle scored a disappointing bronze. The line-ups for the ice hockey Extraliga play-offs have been decided, and in football Sparta stay in front with a win over Stare Mesto.
In today's Sports News: Czech skier Martin Koukal adds a 5th place finish to a successful week at the cross country skiing world championships in Italy; Czech football side Slavia get set for the second leg of the UEFA Cup last sixteen; and Jaromir Jagr and Petr Sykora both shine in team wins in NHL ice hockey action.
In sports this week: Slavia victorious in UEFA Cup action. Prague teams tied for top spot in Czech football league. Katerina Holubcova comes in third at world biathlon championships, Martin Koukal sixth at cross country world cup. The race for last spots in Hockey playoffs heating up. And, Martin Straka, Milan Hejduk, and Robert Reichel carry their teams to victory in NHL action.
Recent snowfalls have improved conditions ahead of the tough Jizerska padesatka cross-country skiing competition in north Bohemia. Katerina Holubcova has come third in the 7.5 kilometre biathlon sprint at the world cup in Oberhof, Germany. In ice hockey, Vsetin have been stripped of three points in the Extraliga after fielding a player who had been suspended after a sending-off in the previous round. And record six-time winner of the Paris to Dakar rally Karel Loprais will not be winning a seventh trophy, at least not this year, after his Tatra
Skier Katerina Neumannova is one step closer to a pair of belated Winter Olympic medals, after two disqualified Russian skiers lose an appeal. Meanwhile, with Neumannova on a career break to have a baby, Lukas Bauer proves she is not the only Czech cross-country star of international quality. Tennis ace Jiri Novak has won the curiously-named Golden Canary award, and the Czech teams left in the UEFA Cup have an uphill battle in next week's third round second legs. All those stories and more are in Sports News.