13-09-2004

Czech Republic loses to Canada in ice hockey epic

Czech - Canada, photo: CTKCzech - Canada, photo: CTK Thousands of people around the country stayed up late on Saturday night to watch one of the most exciting ice hockey games in years: the Czech Republic versus Canada in the semi-final of the Hockey World Cup. In an epic encounter, the Czechs twice came from behind to level the score at 3:3, before one mistake in overtime sent them out of the competition, ending the nation's dream of a victory to equal that of Nagano in 1998. Patrik Elias was one of the star players on the Czech team.

"I think that overall we were the better team today. We were definitely prepared for the game and you could see that every one of us was determined to win. We took it as our 'little final'. But it happens in sport sometimes that the better team doesn't win, and that was the case today."

Czech - Canada, photo: CTKCzech - Canada, photo: CTK Canada fan Mathew Blaszczyk was one of 20,000 fans who enjoyed the electric atmosphere at a sold-out Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

"Oh, it was very intense! The crowd was really into the game, everybody was chanting the whole game long. But, near the end there it got very tense because the Czechs were obviously outplaying us and everybody was really holding their breath and it was pretty stressful, but at the same time it was really exciting."

The Czech Republic's exit from the World Cup signals the end of the international careers of several of the country's ice hockey stars, with the likes of Robert Reichel, Jiri Slegr and Martin Rucinsky expected to make way for a new generation.

Czech footballers in action around Europe at weekend

Pavel Nedved (on the left), photo: CTKPavel Nedved (on the left), photo: CTK Pavel Nedved, who was unavailable for the Czech national team's defeat in Holland last Wednesday, was in action for his club Juventus at the weekend, scoring for the 'old lady' in Juve's first game of the season. International goalkeeper Petr Cech maintained his great run at Chelsea with another clean sheet - he's conceded just one goal in his first five games in the Premiership. Meanwhile, Tomas Rosicky is injured: he may miss the Czech Republic's upcoming World Cup qualifiers after sustaining a stomach muscle injury in a game for club Borussia Dortmund.

Repka wants to play for national team again

Here's a turn-up for the books: hard man defender Tomas Repka says he'd like to return to international football, three years after the West Ham player seemed to have burnt his bridges with the national team.

Czech football league roundup

Leaders Sparta Prague beat Ceske Budejovice 2:0, Banik Ostrava won 1:0 against Blsany, while Brno continued their good run with a 2:1 victory over Opava. Jablonec and Teplice shared the points in a 1:1 draw, as did Mlada Boleslav and Slavia Prague.

Sparta's Champions League campaign begins away to Turkey's Fenerbahce on Wednesday, while on Thursday Ostrava visit Middlesbrough in the UEFA Cup and Olomouc are away to Real Zaragosa in the same competition.

Zelezny to run for chairman of Czech Olympic Committee

Jan Zelezny, photo: CTKJan Zelezny, photo: CTK While Jan Zelezny's glittering career in the javelin draws to a close, the 38-year-old is setting his sights on a new target: the chairmanship of the Czech Olympic Committee. Zelezny, who recently became for the second time a member of the International Olympic Committee, has announced he will challenge incumbent Milan Jirasek when the post comes up for election in January.

Capalini takes second bronze in short period

Libor Capalini - who recently came third in the modern pentathlon at the Olympics - took bronze again at the weekend, this time in the World Cup final held in Darmstadt, Germany.

13-09-2004

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