The World Indoor Athletics Championships in Valencia were not a success for the Czech Republic. In fact it was the first time for 14 years the country came away from a major athletics event without a medal. What’s more, one of the country’s greatest athletes decathlete Roman Šebrle was injured in the heptathlon; the Czech – in second place after four events – had to be stretchered off after sustaining a hamstring injury during the 60m hurdles. The decathlon world record holder suffered a similar injury in Valencia a decade ago and joked that he would never go back to the city, not as a tourist and not even if they held the Olympics there. Let’s hope Šebrle is fit for this summer’s games in Beijing.
The Czech football league leaders Slavia Prague dropped two points at the weekend, when they were held to a 2:2 draw by Baník Ostrava in front of almost 17,000 fans in north Moravia. But Slavia manager Karel Jarolím wasn’t complaining at the post game news conference:
“Twice we went in front and twice we lost our lead. On the other hand Baník kept going to the end. I can’t criticise my players for their dedication or fighting spirit. I think they all gave their all – and I think it was the same for our opponents. It’s just a pity games like this aren’t played every weekend, in this atmosphere.”
That result means second-placed Sparta Prague can close the gap on Slavia to two points if they can beat Teplice at home – that game was due to take place after the recording of this programme.
Japan’s Nagano has a permanent place in the hearts of Czech ice hockey fans, as the venue for the country’s great 1998 Olympic win. It has also become a happy hunting ground for speed skater Martina Sáblíková – on Sunday the 20-year-old defended her world champion’s title there with a time of 6:58.22 in the 5000m. That was a new course record in Nagano, and Sáblíková’s last race of the season.
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