In Sports News: Holuša clinches lone Czech medal at the World Indoor Championships; Plzeň have jumped to 2:0 lead in the Česká pojišotvna playoffs; in the NHL, Vokoun and Neuwirth both earn shutouts; footballer Tomáš Rosický has re-signed with Arsenal.
Jakub Holuša pulled off the biggest triumph of his career at the weekend clinching the silver medal in the 800 metres – the lone Czech medal at this year’s World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. The last medal won by a Czech in the competition was bronze by Roman Šebrle six years ago. Despite barely sleeping before the final Holuša told the Czech media he had weighed his chances of getting a medal and had seen them as promising. In the race, in which regular favourites such as Kiplalat Lalang of Kenya and Marcin Lewandowski were absent, the Czech competitor went ahead with Ethiopian Mohommad Aman and looked like he might even have a shot at gold. Even though he finished second, Holuša, wrapped in the Czech flag after the race, was extremely happy with the result:
“The celebrations are going to be wild back home in Opava! At least I hope so! I am headed there next weekend so it’s greetings to everyone and I hope they wait for me to celebrate.”
Holuša’s silver finish also means a win of 20,000 US dollars which the athlete said he would probably invest in a new apartment.
The weekend saw plenty of hockey action in the Česká pojištovna playoffs: Sparta Prague and Brno split the first two games of the series. Sparta lost the opener 4:3 but managed to edge Kometa 3:2 on Sunday in penalty shots. In other action Plzeň have taken a 2:0 lead over Zlín, winning 3:2 on Saturday and dominating 5:1 a day later.
Overseas, in the National Hockey League the Czech goalies Tomáš Vokoun and Michal Neuwirth were both flawless for the Washington Capitals at the weekend, trading places to earn back-to-back shutouts. On Saturday Vokoun blanked Boston and a day later Neuwirth kept Toronto off the scoreboard earning his third shut-out of the season. The finals core was 2:0. The team’s coach Dale Hunter expressed satisfaction that he has two goalies he can start at the moment, always a good sign coming up towards the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs. Washington are fighting for a place in the playoffs, are on 8th in the Eastern Conference and in 15th spot in the league.
Czech star midfielder Tomáš Rosický will stay on at Arsenal next year, having signed a new contract. Exact details – including the length he will stay with the club – have not been revealed. The deal comes after months of speculation over Rosický’s professional future: in the autumn he didn’t play often but has had a much more effective spring. Arsenal are pulling within fourth spot in the Premier League which guarantees a berth in the Champions League.
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