Last season’s champion Lukáš Bauer didn’t get off to the ideal start in the first meeting of the 2008-2009 cross country skiing World Cup at the Swedish resort of Gällivare, finishing in ninth place in the 15 km free on Saturday. However, Bauer did better on Sunday as part of a Czech relay team that also featured Martin Jakš, Milan Šperl and Dušan Kožíšek – they came fourth, with just two tenths of a second separating them from a place on the podium. The Czech team had to make do without an out-of-form Martin Koukal, but didn’t do too badly, says trainer Miroslav Petrásek:
“It was a great race. It’s a bit of a pity that Lukáš lost his position on the final hill and finished eighth, so we were a bit behind. But in the final lap Dušan Kožíšek gave a great performance – he showed he will be real competition for Martin Koukal in terms of finishing, because he put in an excellent race.”
Czech athlete of the year and Olympic javelin champion Barbora Špotáková received another award at the glitzy IAAF World Athletics Gala in Monte Carlo on Saturday night: her record-breaking throw of 72.28 m earned Špotáková the prize for female performance of the year, which she shares with the Ethiopian long-distance runner Tirunesh Dibaba.
The Czech figure-skater Tomáš Verner finished second in a Grand Prix event in Moscow at the weekend. However, speaking after the Cup of Moscow, the reigning European champion said he was not yet in optimal physical condition and that was something he needed to work on. Verner is fifth overall in the Grand Prix after two events – if he can maintain that position he will reach the final, which features six competitors, for the first time in his career.
Slavia Prague are eight points clear at the top of the Czech football league after a 3:1 home win over Teplice on Sunday evening. Former Slavia man Štěpán Vachoušek put the visitors in front, but the hosts gained the upper hand in the second half with two goals from Tomáš Necid and one from Tijani Belaid. Necid, who is 19, now has 11 goals in 15 games, an extremely high tally by Czech league standards. Slavia’s management, and Czech international manager Petr Rada, would like to see the striker stay on at the club until the summer. But Necid himself says he will, as planned, join CSKA Moscow in January. The Russian club signed the player last summer, but have left him at Slavia on loan for the first half of the Czech season, which ends next weekend.
The Czech Republic took silver and bronze medals at the world championships in the sport of nohejbal in the central Bohemian town of Nymburk on Sunday. Nohejbal is translated as “footballtennis”, and features players on each side of a tennis court trying to keep a football in play using their feet and heads.
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