24-01-2005

Two World Cup first places in great weekend for Czech skiing

Lukas Bauer, photo: CTKLukas Bauer, photo: CTK Czech skiing has just enjoyed one of its most successful weekends ever, with two wins in World Cup events. The first of those triumphs was for cross country skier Lukas Bauer; after 30 gruelling kilometres he somehow managed to find the strength to come from behind in the last few metres and cross the line four tenths of a second ahead of his nearest rival. Bauer, whose had been having a poor season until Saturday's success, had this to say on the line from the Italian resort of Pragelato.

"It's the second time I've won a World Cup race, and it was far and away my best result this season. There's a month or perhaps less to go until the World Championships, and I hope my form will continue to improve. So we'll see."

It was a full ten years since the Czech Republic last won a World Cup ski jumping event, but that changed on Sunday when Jakub Janda achieved a life-long dream and took first place in Germany's Titisee-Neustadt.

"I was 99 percent sure it would work out. It was great, the most successful weekend of my life and I really felt euphoric. But that competition is already in the past, and now I have to concentrate on my next event."

And leading women's cross country skier Katerina Neumannova also did well at the weekend, finishing second in the World Cup 15km skiathlon.

Nedved sustains knee injury

Pavel Nedved, photo: CTKPavel Nedved, photo: CTK Former Czech international football captain Pavel Nedved sustained a knee injury in a game for Juventus on Sunday. Initial fears that Nedved could be out for the rest of the season have proved unfounded, and the player should be back in action in three weeks. There has been speculation he may announce a return to the national team next month.

Matusovic joins Sparta in biggest domestic deal of transfer window

In Czech club football, Sparta Prague have signed forward Miroslav Matusovic from Banik Ostrava; the fee is believed to be over 20 million crowns (850,000 US dollars). Meanwhile, an announcement on whether Sparta will face corruption charges has been put back another week.

Four clubs may be barred from league due to financial problems

But corruption isn't the only problem facing Czech football. First division clubs Blsany and Opava may be barred from the league due to insolvency. The same fate threatens second division sides Hradec Kralove and Bohemians. Bohemians are in such dire straits their players are threatening to strike, while Blsany just managed to find the money to avert a player walkout on Friday. All four clubs have until February 15 to prove they have the finances to see them through the rest of the season.

No Czechs left in singles as Australian Open enters second week

There were no Czech singles players left in the Australian Open as the competition entered its second week. Nicole Vaidisova and Radek Stepanek went furthest in Melbourne, but both were knocked out in the third round.

24-01-2005