In Sport News this Monday: Czechs seek to build on excellent biathlon season; Martina Sáblíková wins ninth event in a row in 3000 metres; Brno and Zlín face off for last play-off place; Sparta Prague scrape win to stay in touch with Viktoria Plzeň; and last places filled for UEFA 2016 qualifier against Latvia.
Gabriela Soukalová took a silver medal in the final Biathlon World Cup event of the season, the 12.5 kilometre mass start. The Czech was just over seven seconds behind Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier. The second place put Soukalová sixth overall in the world cup table with fellow Czech Veronika Vítková in fourth position. In the men’s completion, Czechs Ondrej Moravec and Michal Slesinger also feature in the top 10, rounding off an excellent biathlon season for the Czech Republic.
National coach Ondrej Rybář says the sport now has a firm foundation to build on: “We want to maintain these results and keep biathlon in the position it has reached in the Czech Republic. We have to attract young sporting talent and become one of the top three top biathlon countries in the world.”
Speed skater Martina Sáblíková notched up her ninth win in a row in the 3000 metres World Cup event in Erfurt, Germany, to end the season in first place. Her only challenger in the points table, Dutchwoman Ireen Wüst, was not in the starting line up. Sáblíková also won the mass start event at Erfurt, her second victory in the season which meant she was third placed overall in the event.
In ice hockey, the last semi-final place in the play-offs has gone down the wire between Kometa Brno and PSG Zlín after Zlín trounced the visitor 5:0 on Saturday. The reigning champions began at a blistering pace with four goals in the first 20 minutes leaving Brno no way back into the match. The decider will be played on Monday night. Litvínov, Třinec, and Sparta Prague have already qualified for the last four.
In football, Viktoria Plzeň maintain a five point lead at the top of the Synot League after a comfortable 2:0 win against bottom of the table Slovan Liberec. The main title challengers, Sparta Prague, needed a controversial last minute penalty against Teplice not to see the gap widen. Star striker David Lafata dived in the penalty area with the goal converted by Bořek Dockal. Dockal later commented on the Sparta captain’s penalty winning stunt: “I don’t know what happened on television, I haven’t seen the images yet. I think it is a pity that after all what happened in this match it comes down to speculation about whether it was a penalty or not. We should have tied this game up a lot earlier and put paid to that sort of speculation.”
Staying with football, Czech national coach Pavel Vrba has named strikers Tomás Necid of Dutch team Zwolle and Sparta Prague’s Václav Kadlec for the squad to face Latvia in the European Championship qualifier on March 28 in Prague. Vrba goes into the game with the Czechs at the top of the qualifying table with four wins out of four. Latvia has so far only notched up two draws and are last but one in the table.
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