10-01-2005

In Sports News: the atmosphere turns bitter as javelin legend Jan Zelezny stands against incumbent Milan Jirasek for chairmanship of the Czech Olympic Committee; skier Nikola Sudova becomes the first Czech woman to win a moguls World Cup event, while cross country star Katerina Neumannova impresses on her return from illness; and footballer Jiri Jarosik makes his first appearance for Chelsea just days after arriving in London.

Atmosphere bitter as javelin legend Zelezny runs for Czech Olympic post

Jan Zelezny (right) and Milan Jirasek, photo: CTKJan Zelezny (right) and Milan Jirasek, photo: CTK Tensions are high ahead of Tuesday's vote for the chairmanship of the Czech Olympic Committee, with javelin legend Jan Zelezny running against the incumbent, Milan Jirasek. Zelezny, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, has been accused of being overly influenced by the powerful marketing agency Ceska sportovni; the agency is seen by some as something of a rival to the Czech Olympic Committee. Jan Zelezny strongly refutes any impropriety, and on Sunday made a surprise suggestion in a television debate with Milan Jirasek:

"I have a proposal for you, that both of us withdraw our candidatures and allow some third person to run, somebody who could deal with other problems than Ceska sportovni, and so on."

Milan Jirasek said it was too late for such a move, and it appears he and Zelezny will be the only candidates in Tuesday's vote. But whoever wins will have some work to do clearing the air after a surprisingly bitter campaign.

Sudova first Czech woman ever to take first place in moguls World Cup

Nikola Sudova (in the middle), photo: CTKNikola Sudova (in the middle), photo: CTK It was a very good weekend for Czech skiing, with Nikola Sudova becoming the first Czech woman to come first in a moguls World Cup event (moguls being skiing downhill combined with going over ramps and doing tricks in the air). Sudova had this to say on the phone from the Canadian resort of Tremblant where she achieved her historic success.

"I was hoping I'd get some good results and get on the podium this season, but I didn't think I'd come first. I couldn't believe it when I won on Saturday, I was so happy. And if I could at least come somewhere among the medals at the end of the World Cup that would be great."

Elsewhere, cross country skier Katerina Neumannova returned from illness to come third in the 10km classic in Estonia. Neumannova is currently fifth in the World Cup rankings.

Norwegian wins traditional Jizerska Padesatka in near record time

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK In the Czech Republic the 38th annual Jizerska Padesatka in the Jizersky Mountains was won on Saturday by Norway's Gunnar Karl Skjonsfjell. He made the second fastest time in the event's history, finishing the 50 km cross country race in two hours, three minutes.

Jarosik appears for Chelsea just days after signing with superrich London club

It didn't take long for Czech footballer Jiri Jarosik to get his first outing at Chelsea. Jarosik, who has signed a two-and-a-half year deal at the superrich club, came on in the 70th minute of their FA Cup game on Saturday, just a couple of days after arriving in London. The 27-year-old midfielder said he simply had no time to be nervous.

Banik Ostrava demand large fee for Matusovic

In other transfer news, Sparta Prague are keen to sign Miroslav Matusovic from Banik Ostrava, but he won't come cheap: Banik are reportedly demanding 20 million crowns for the player, unusually high for a domestic league transfer.

Havlat returns from Russia league after only ten games

Czech ice hockey star Martin Havlat's stay in the Russian league came to an abrupt end on Friday, when he announced he was leaving Dynamo Moscow after only ten games. Havlat's agent said the forward had only planned to stay in Russia until the NHL season began. When that became extremely unlikely, the player reassessed his priorities.

10-01-2005