The Biathlon World Championships that have just ended in Oslo will not be remembered fondly by the Czech team, who have scored numerous successes in recent years but left Norway empty-handed. Indeed, the Czechs finished sixth in no fewer than nine events.
One of the most disappointed was Gabriela Soukalová who twice finished just outside the medals, including in her final event, Sunday’s mass start, when she finished just 20 seconds behind the bronze medallist.
The 26-year-old – who also repeatedly came fourth at the last Winter Olympics – said it might have been less painful if she had achieved a lower placing.
"It really makes me feel bad. Maybe it would have been simpler to be last than fourth. Any position is easier for a competitor. In Sochi I came fourth four times, here twice... It gets you down. But I can't be unsatisfied - it's one of the best results of my life. I don't need to be upset about it. It saddens me that I didn't have the energy to keep pace till the final metres. But from the first circuit I was trying to stay in touch rather than try anything. My skiing just didn't go great today."
Czech football league leaders Viktoria Plzeň won again at the weekend, overcoming Bohemians 1905 2:0 in West Bohemia. Second-placed Sparta Prague, six points behind but with a game in hand, beat Sigma Olomouc away by the same score line. But the match was not without controversy. The home side were furious after defender Lukáš Vácha strongly appeared to use his hand to keep out a goal-bound header. However, Sparta boss Zdeněk Ščasný said Vácha and goalkeeper David Bičík had assured him it was the latter that had blocked the effort.
“I asked Bičík and I asked Vácha and neither of them is a player who would lie to me. I said guys, I don’t want to look like it an idiot – was it handball or not? Vácha told me he wanted to punch it away but Bičík did. I don’t have the slightest reason to doubt that.”
Sparta are now preparing for two huge games. In midweek they travel to Rome for the second leg of a Europa League round of 16 tie with Lazio after a 1:1 draw in Prague on Thursday. Then on Sunday they welcome local rivals Slavia Prague for the biggest derby in Czech football.
Unseeded Czech tennis player Denisa Allertová (23) caused an upset in Indian Wells, when she knocked out world number two Angelique Kerber 7-5 7-5 in the second round. Karolina Plíšková also had reasons to be cheerful in Indian Wells. Her first round win over Shelby Rogers was her first on the WTA circuit since the Australian Open in January. Ranked seventh in the world last August, Plíšková is now 19th.
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott