12-03-2001

By Peter Smith

The athletics World Indoor Championships were held in Lisbon, Portugal over the weekend. There was double gold success for the Czech team in Lisbon - Roman Serbrle, who took the silver in decathlon at the Sydney Olympics, went one better in Lisbon by taking the gold in the heptathlon. The 26-year-old also recorded the third-highest ever points tally in the event - his total of 6,420 was more than enough to see off his closest challenger Jon Arnar Magnusson of Iceland. The Russian Lev Lobodin took the bronze.

One of the shocks of the opening day of the games was in the women's pole-vault - the Czech competitor Pavla Hamackova disappointed the Olympic champion and world record holder Stacy Dragila by coming first in the event with a championship record vault of 4.56 metres. The Russian Svetlana Feofanova failed three times to out-jump that height and had to settle for the silver. Dragila herself was edged out of a bronze by her American teammate Kelly Suttle.

There was also a notable bronze for Helena Dziurova-Fuchsova in the women's 800 metre final. In a race dominated by the arch rivals Maria Mutola and Stephanie Graf, the Czech came third in a time of 2 minutes and 1 second. The Mozambiquan Mutola took the gold finishing four hundredths of second ahead of the Austrian Graf.

In tennis, it seems that there is hope for the future of the game in the Czech Republic. Daniela Bedanova has been named the best newcomer of 2000 by the WTA, only three days after her 18th birthday. Bedanova took the award ahead of Nadezda Petrovova of Russia and the Spanish player Marta Marrera, whilst the senior award was predictably won by the eldest of the two Williams, Venus.

Finally, the manager of Teplice football club Petr Rada could be looking for new work come Monday evening. Club President Frantisek Hrdlicka said during the half-time interval of Teplice match away to Jablonec that if they were to lose, Rada would be finished. Well, the players duly kept their part of the bargain going down 1-0, although at full-time Hrdlicka did his best to fortify Rada's recent diet of sedatives by saying "On Monday the board will meet, and decide what to do."

So I hope you had a better weekend than Petr Rada.

12-03-2001