In Sports News: Ondřej Bank allowed to leave hospital after terrible Alpine skiing crash; Czech women advance to Fed Cup semis with victory over Canada; over 100,000 attend Biathlon World Cup in Nové město na Moravě; and ski jumper Roman Koudelka remains third in World Cup standing.

Bank escapes awful crash with minor injuries

Ondřej Bank, photo: ČTKOndřej Bank, photo: ČTK The biggest story in Czech sport this weekend was without doubt a terrible crash involving skier Ondřej Bank at the Alpine World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek in the United States on Sunday. The collision came near the finish of the downhill portion of the Alpine combined when Bank was in the middle of a fast run and stumbled just before his final jump, losing control as he went over it. The good news is that though the crash looked dramatic – it’s already been watched hundreds of thousands of times on the internet – the 34-year-old suffered nothing worse than concussion, bruised bones, a sprained ankle and cuts on his face and was allowed to leave hospital and spend the night at his hotel. There Bank, who was in good spirits, spoke to Czech Radio.

Ondřej Bank, photo: ČTKOndřej Bank, photo: ČTK “I don’t remember the cause, I only remember the result, which was that I went through the gate head-first, not skis-first. But the guys told me that my skis slid or got stuck in deep snow and that’s what threw me. I was kind of trying a new track there but I didn’t expect the snow to be so deep. I remember starting to fall and that’s all I remember. I haven’t seen it yet but everybody tells me it was brutal.”

Czechs dispatch Canada to reach Fed Cup semis

Karolína Plíšková, photo: ČTKKarolína Plíšková, photo: ČTK The Czech women’s team have reached the semi-finals of tennis’s Fed Cup after defeating Canada 4:0 in Quebec at the weekend. Debutant Karolína Plíšková secured victory for the favourites with a 6-4 6-2 win over Gabriela Dabrowski in the third rubber. The Czech ladies advanced to the last four without their two highest ranked players, Petra Kvitová and Lucie Šafářová, and non-playing captain Petr Pála says it’s too early to say what his team will look like in the next round.

“It’s a very broad team, which I’m really pleased about. We’ll see how it is in April. I think we could even put together two teams that would be equally good – and if they played one another, I don’t know which would win.”

The Czechs are defending champions and have won the Fed Cup in three of the last four years. They will face France in April for a place in the final on home ground. However, securing a venue has been complicated by the fact the World Ice Hockey Championship will be taking place in Prague and Ostrava soon afterwards.

Over 100,000 turn out for Biathlon World Cup in Nové Město na Moravě

Michal Šlesingr, photo: ČTKMichal Šlesingr, photo: ČTK The biggest spectator event in Czech sport at the weekend was the Biathlon World Cup in Nové město na Moravě, which drew just over 100,000 fans, around a third more than previously. Local supporters had plenty to cheer about too, with the Czech team taking silver in the mixed relay, Veronika Vítková picking up bronze in the sprint and Michal Šlesingr, and Gabriela Soukalová coming in fifth.

Koudelka remains third in World Cup rankings

Roman Koudelka, photo: ČTKRoman Koudelka, photo: ČTK Ski jumper Roman Koudelka came third in a World Cup event at Germany’s Titisee-Neustadt on Sunday. It was his eighth podium finish this season and keeps him third overall in the World Cup rankings. It was the Czech’s final event before the sport’s world championships in Falun in Sweden.