In Sports News: Olympic gold winner Roman Sebrle is, as expected, named Czech Athlete of the Year; Katerina Neumannova comes fifth in the first race of the cross country skiing World Cup; Tomas Jun gets two goals for Sparta Prague a few days before their Champions League game against Fenerbahce; Banik Ostrava boss Jarabinsky is under pressure after they fail to win in five games with him in charge.
There was zero suspense as the Czech Athlete of the Year was announced on Saturday night - even the cleaners at the venue for the event, Prague's Hotel Ambassador, must have known the sole contender was Roman Sebrle. He did after all have a fantastic season, taking the country's only gold at the Athens Olympics in August. The 29-year-old decathlete is also expected to become Czech Sportsman of the Year next month. But Roman Sebrle says he doesn't take such awards too seriously.
"I have to say I don't lose too much sleep over these polls - I take ceremonies like this as a social occasion and a chance to meet up with other athletes, eat well and have fun. Of course I do value this award, but like I say this year again I can see that it's only a poll, so that's how I take it."
Roman Sebrle, speaking after winning the Czech Athlete of the Year award for the third time in his career. High jumper Jaroslav Baba came second, with discus thrower Vera Cechlova-Pospisilova third. Keeping it in the family, Baba's girlfriend Denisa Scerbova was named junior Athlete of the Year for her achievements in the long jump.
The leading Czech cross country skier Katerina Neumannova came fifth in her first World Cup race of the season, the 10 km classic in Swedens's Gallivare on Saturday. Neumannova had been in second until the last three kilometers but fell off the pace; she said a varied snow surface had sapped her energy. Top Czech men's skier Lukas Bauer, nursing a foot injury, came 13th in the 15 km classic.
Fenerbahce Sparta Prague's Tomas Jun scored twice in their 3:1 win over Jablonec on Saturday, taking his tally to a very impressive nine goals so far this season. Sparta will be hoping the 21-year-old can take that form into Tuesday's Champions League game against Fenerbahce in Prague; it won't be easy for the Czech league leaders, who will be missing Karel Poborsky and Jiri Homola through suspension. With only one point from four games, the best Sparta can now hope for is third place in their group and a place in the UEFA Cup.
Ostrava Back in the Czech domestic league, Stanislav Vlcek - who got a hat-trick last weekend - scored two for Slavia Prague in their 3:0 win over Blsany; Slavia have had a string of good results lately, relieving the pressure on coach Josef Csaplar. But Banik Ostrava boss Jozef Jarbinsky is on the ropes: Banik have not won any of their five league games since he took over, and squandered a 2:0 lead against Drnovice to take only one point at the weekend. Last season's champions are now eighth in the table.
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