On a freezing day like today we just have to start with winter sports, and the news that the four-day Jizerska padesatka cross-country skiing event gets under way in the Jizerske mountains in north Bohemia on Thursday afternoon. The competition, now in its 36th year, begins with the Bedrichovska tricitka 30 kilometre free, and culminates on Sunday with the 50 kilometre race which gives the event its name. Organiser Jan Cejka says the famous mountain competition had been threatened by bad weather, but recent snowfalls had improved conditions somewhat.
"Luckily we've had two or three centimetres of snow a day, including today. It's fallen on frozen snow, of which there is around 15 to 20 centimetres at Bedrichov and around 25 centimetres at the highest parts of the track. We're doing all we can to make it safe, and we ask all competitors to be as careful as possible in ensuring their own safety and the safety of others."
Czech skier Katerina Holubcova has done extremely well to come third in the 7.5 kilometre biathlon sprint at the world cup in Oberhof, Germany. It was the best placing by a Czech woman in the biathlon - which involves cross-country skiing and shooting - in a decade. I told myself during the competition to get a move on if I wanted to finally reach the podium, said Holubcova of the best race of her career.
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. Tomas Vak played for the club in their 4:2 win over Ceske Budejovice on Tuesday, with Budejovice being awarded the win after his suspension came to light. The decision knocks Vsetin out of the top eight, where they need to remain if they are to make the play-offs.
The highlight of the latest round of Extraliga games was the clash between title-holders Sparta Prague and current league-leaders Pardubice, which ended in a three all draw. Pardubice have been out in front for some time, and are currently 12 points ahead of second-placed Slavia Prague.
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 truck crashed in the desert in Libya on Wednesday. Loprais and his crew emerged unscathed after their Czech-made Tatra turned over on a sand dune.
Czech Tomas Enge has been ranked among the top 25 drivers in motor racing last year by the British magazine Autosport. Enge is the highest-ranking Formula 3000 driver in the poll, and said he found the placing encouraging. However, the 26-year-old may need more than encouragement to revive his career, after losing the Formula 3000 crown when traces of cannabis were found in his blood.
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