In Sports News this Monday: Ski jumper Matura tops the World Cup podium for the first time after nearly 170 attempts; Berdych reaches the quarter-finals in Melbourne; Jágr enjoys a dream start at new club Dallas; and striker Vydra now has 16 goals in 23 games for Watford.
There is no question that Jan Matura caused the Czech sporting sensation of the weekend – and showed that perseverance really can pay off. The ski jumper claimed his first World Cup podium finish and first ever win at the Japanese resort of Sapporo on Saturday. It was the 32-year-old’s 169th start. Then the story became even more remarkable, when he came first again on Sunday to cap a dream weekend. Matura spoke about his incredible achievement on the line from Japan.
“The hill here is specific, it’s more like for ski flying, and there is usually a headwind. Those are things that to a large degree suit me, but still you have to be on form. I knew when I arrived that the competitions here would be windy, and that I could perhaps reach the podium. But for me the fact I won twice is something that is indescribable.”
Tomáš Berdych is the only Czech singles player left in the Australian Open as the year’s first Grand Slam enters its second week. The world number six reached the quarter-finals after overcoming Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-2 7-6 in Melbourne on Sunday, cruising through the first two sets before the South African rallied in the third to offer far stiffer opposition. Berdych’s opponent for a place in the semis – world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia – will no doubt prove a sterner test.
Less than a month before his 41st birthday, Jaromír Jágr still clearly has it. On his debut outing for new club Dallas following the end of the NHL lockout, the Czech ice hockey legend put on a dazzling performance as he scored two and notched up two assists for the Stars in a 4:3 victory over Phoenix on Saturday. However, 24 hours later things did not go Jágr’s way, with Dallas losing 1:0 to Minnesota.
The Czech striker Matěj Vydra is going great guns in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Vydra, who is 20 and began his career at Baník Ostrava, is on loan at Watford from Italian side Udinese. On Saturday, he won a penalty and scored twice for the Hornets to bring his tally for the season so far to 16 goals in 23 appearances. Given the Czech national side’s trouble finding the net in recent times, coach Michal Bílek will no doubt be monitoring Vydra’s progress closely.
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