In Sports News: Defending champions Czech Republic reach Fed Cup win over Franc in semi-finals – non-playing captain Pála says team are just as hungry as before first title; Třinec keep playoffs alive after equalising against Litvínov with 36 seconds to go; and no “bounce” for Sparta after replacing Lavička with Ščasný.
In ice hockey, Třinec took a 3 to 2 lead in the Extra League play-off semi-finals series against visitors Sparta Prague on Saturday night. The home team were already two goals up by the 13th minute but allowed an initially uncertain Sparta back into the game. It eventually went down the line to penalties with Třinec’s back Zbyněk Irgl scoring the decisive goal. The result means Třinec can get through to the final with victory in the next match. Litvínov already secured their place in the finals, for the first time in 19 years, on Friday night.
In ice hockey, Kometa Brno booked the last place in the Czech play-off semi-finals after a 5:0 win against PSG Zlín on Monday night. The deciding seventh match was needed after Zlín tied the series 3:3. Hosts Kometa took an early lead with the first goal in the fourth minute of play and continued to pile the pressure on the visitors. The win means that Brno face Litvínov with the first game of the series scheduled for Thursday. The other semi-final duel pitches Sparta Prague against Třinec.
In Sport News this Monday: Czechs seek to build on excellent biathlon season; Martina Sáblíková wins ninth event in a row in 3000 metres; Brno and Zlín face off for last play-off place; Sparta Prague scrape win to stay in touch with Viktoria Plzeň; and last places filled for UEFA 2016 qualifier against Latvia.
Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková was crowned the World Allround Speed skating Champion in Calgary, Canada, on Sunday. The long-distance specialist won the women’s final 5000-metre race in six minutes, 51seconds. It is the third career world title in the ladies’ tournament for the Czech speed skater; she previously won the championship in 2009 and 2010. Sáblíková’s biggest rival Ireen Wüst of the Netherlands finished second and Norway’s Ida Njåtun took the bronze.
The Czech Republic claimed the first gold medal of the 2015 International Biathlon Union World Championships with a victory in the mixed relay in Kontiolahti, Finland on Thursday. Despite facing tough conditions, with soft deep snow and temperatures above freezing, the winning team of Veronika Vítková, Gabriela Soukalová, Michal Šlesingr and Ondřej Moravec finished in a time of 1:20:27.2. The silver medal went to the French team while Norway took the bronze.