Only days after the euphoria of qualifying for Euro 2004, there was bad news for Czech football fans at the weekend, when 21-year-old Czech star Milan Baros was seriously injured in a game for his club Liverpool against Blackburn. Baros, who scored in two recent Czech internationals, broke his fibula and underwent an operation on Saturday night; he is expected to be out till at least the New Year. Baros's international and club team-mate Vladimir Smicer describes how the popular striker sustained the injury:
"He clashed with a defender, actually it was Markus Babbel, who - paradoxically - is one of our players but is on loan to Blackburn at the moment. He stepped on Milan's ankle a little but it didn't really look like a foul. When Milan hit the ground he signalled immediately that he had to be taken off, so it was clear it was serious."
In the Czech football league, champions Sparta Prague were beaten 2:0 by previous title holders Liberec on Saturday. To add to Sparta's woes, Liberec's first goal came from Michal Pospisil, who joined the club from Sparta just a few months ago. Meanwhile, former Liberec striker Jan Nezmar got off to a good start at Synot: his goal secured all three points against Pribram.
Getting back to Sparta, after some poor performances they will really have to step up a gear if they are going to make any impact against the most talked about club in Europe, Chelsea, when they visit Prague for a Champions League game on Tuesday.
The new Extraliga ice hockey season began badly for both champions Slavia Prague and the favourites to win this season, Pardubice. Slavia lost 3:0 to Trinec at home, while Pardubice went down 3:1 to Plzen, with their only goal coming from the biggest star in the league, Jiri Dopita. On Sunday Martin Havlat put on a great display for his temporary employers Sparta Prague, with one goal and three assists in their 5:2 victory over Kladno.
Vera Pospisilova ended the season on a high with a gold medal in the discus at the World Athletics Final in Monaco. Pospisilova, whose prize money was 30,000 US dollars, said it was a nice feeling overcoming all the opponents who beat her to the medals at the recent World Championships. Meanwhile, Czech javelin legend Jan Zelezny took the silver at Monaco.
The former Olympic canoeing champion Martin Doktor has done well at the Flatwater World Championships in Gainesville, Georgia. Doktor took silver in the sprint and bronze in the 5 kilometre race. The Czech doubles team also took silver, while the country's four-member team won bronze.
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