05-02-2001

By Peter Smith

Turning to sport and rather unusually Cyclo-Cross, the World Championships which have just concluded in the Bohemian town of Tabor. The Czech team produced their best ever performance in the championships, finishing with one gold medal, three silver and two bronze. Their previous best Cyclo-Cross performance had been four medals.

Twenty-four-year-old Petr Dlask was the main hero for Czech. Dlask finished the elite event in 1 hour 1 minute and 55 seconds, just one second behind the winner Erwin Vervecken of Belgium. Proving that the sport must be very popular in Belgium, Vervecken's compatriot Mario de Clercq finished third.

In football, Tomas Rosicky finally made his long-awaited debut for the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund on Friday evening. Unfortunately, the 21-year-old's appearance as a second half substitute couldn't prevent Dortmund going down to a disappointing 1-0 away defeat at 1860 Munich.

Bloemfontain, South Africa now and a fine run by the Czech sprinter Radek Zachovar all went to waste during an athletics meeting. Zachovar was a denied a new Czech record in the 200m when he crossed the line in 20.52 seconds, 9 hundredths of a second faster than the previous national best. Unfortunately for Zachovar, the time didn't count - the tailwind was deemed too strong. Hard luck.

Finally, the former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov was in Prague last week. Now the Head of the Russian Chess Federation, Karpov was here to launch a new three dimensional version of chess that he hopes will broaden the appeal of the game. Wasn't all business, though - Karpov was just happy to be back in the city where his career began to take off.