In Sports news this week: Czech swimmer Barbora Závadová comes in seventh in the Women's 400m Individual Medley Final at the FINA World Championships, the results of the Czech World Cup 2014 qualifying group are announced, the Czech team faces Spain in the final of the European Under-19 Championship, and the Czech soccer top flight resumes after summer break.
Barbora Závadová came in seventh in the Women's 400m Individual Medley Final at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai on Sunday, securing the best result by a Czech swimmer in the competition. The 18-year-old achieved a time of 4:38:04 seconds, improving on her own record by five seconds and securing a spot at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. “Certainly, the first 200 meters are usually my strength, but I think that subconsciously I knew that I had gone into it too quickly, and that it either will be a brutal time or I would not get anywhere. The first 250 meters breast stroke really hurt, and unfortunately I was not able to go beyond the pain. And during the crawl, I was just looking forward to getting it over with.”
The Czech Republic have been drawn to face Malta, Armenia, Bulgaria, Denmark and Italy in qualifying games for the 2014 football World Cup in Brazil. Fifty-three teams will be competing for 13 spots in the qualifying stage, with only the winner of the group assured of playing in the competition. The group stage kicks off in the fall of 2012 and wraps up a year later. Czech captain Tomáš Rosický said the group was evenly matched with four teams who would have ambitions to qualify. Meanwhile, the general manager of the Czech team, Vladimír Šmicer, said that the only thing they had been hoping for was not to draw world champions Spain or France. The last time the Czechs qualified for the World Cup, in 2006, they were knocked out in the group stage.
The Czech Republic have reached the final of the European Under-19 Football Championship for the first time, after beating Serbia 4:2 in Friday’s semi-final in Romania. The Czechs had a 3:0 lead within 20 minutes thanks to strikes from Tomáš Přikryl, Tomáš Kalas, and Tomáš Jeleček. So far, the Czech team has won all of the games it played in the championship. However, they face Spain – who are world and European champions at senior level – in Monday’s final, which will kick off at 7 p.m, after the recording of our programme. Commenting on the match, team captain Jakub Brabec said that they would do all they could to stop the Spanish offence, but would not focus on individual players, since the team as a whole was dangerous.
Czech soccer’s top flight competition, the Gambrinus League, resumed on Friday evening after a summer break. In the opening game of the 2011/2012 season, newly promoted Dukla Prague drew 0:0 at home with Sigma Olomouc. Dukla - previously one of the country’s biggest clubs - had not played in the Czech first division for 17 years. After the game, captain Jan Vorel gave his assessment:
“We have to remember that for a lot of players, this was the first time that they played a first division match, and we simply lack experience. I think that the first half was better, but the second was not any good, there is no point in lying about that.”
Later on Friday Bohemians 1905 beat Slavia Prague 2:0 at home at Eden, the stadium they share. There are 30 rounds in the Gambrinus League, with the last one set for late May.
Meanwhile, Sparta Prague kicked off their league campaign with a 4:2 away win over České Budějovice. That brings Sparta’s total number of goals this season up to an impressive nine, with five scored in a match with Sarajevo on Thursday in a Europa League qualifier. Kamil Vacek scored two goals against České Budějovice on Sunday - and made this comment after the match.
“We really wanted to win, because the matches in Ceske Budejovice are always quite complicated for us. So this is a really valuable win for us, and we are glad that we scored so many goals, even though I don’t think this was our best game. I hope that we will get better and better and that our performance will develop.”
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