The Czech women's cross country skiing team took their first relay medal in over two decades on Sunday, when they came third in a World Cup race at France's La Clusaz. The Czech team was made up of Helena Erbenova, Kamila Rajdlova, Ivana Janeckova and the famous Katerina Neumannova. Coach Vladimir Pavlata said after coming fourth in a recent race in Sweden the team felt they had it in them to reach the podium.
"After Gallivare we became a bit more ambitious. We knew if it worked out well we could do it, that it was possible to come third. During the race itself it didn't look to good after the second part, but then in the last part Katka Neumannova put in a fantastic performance, perhaps her best of the season so far. "
A day earlier Neumannova had come fourth in the 15 km free. That leaves her in fourth place overall in the World Cup placings.
Czech ice hockey fans are having to get used to their team performing poorly in the four-country Euro Hockey Tour. The Czech Republic, who finished fourth overall last season, came last in the Channel One tournament in Moscow, losing every game and not picking up a single point.
Coach Alois Hadamczik said he didn't want to make excuses but the Czech squad in Moscow was the weakest in some time. Many Czech Extraliga clubs refuse to release players for Euro Hockey Tour tournaments, making it difficult for selectors to assemble a team.
Two Czech players on Sunday took part in one of the most keenly fought clashes in world football, Glasgow's Old Firm derby. Jiri Jarosik lined up for Celtic while Libor Sionko was in the blue of Rangers, in a game which ended 1:1.
Meanwhile, Czech international defenders Tomas Ujfalusi and Marek Jankulovski met in Italy's Serie A, when their clubs Fiorentina and AC Milan played out a 2:2 draw. There has been speculation that Milan are planning a swoop for Ujfalusi, and could offer Fiorentina Jankulovski as part of the deal.
The Czech canoeist Martin Doktor has become a doctor. The two-time Olympic champion earned a doctorate in psychology at Prague's faculty of physical education and sport. Doctor Doktor, who is 32, said he would have completed his studies a lot sooner if he hadn't devoted so much time to canoeing.
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