In Sports News this Monday: New Czech record in 4 x 400m men’s relay in Amsterdam but no Olympics place for team; coach Lendl praises Murray’s mental strength after Wimbledon success; Jarolím in frame to become national soccer team boss; and Čech confirms international retirement.
The European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam were bittersweet for the Czech 4 x 400m men’s relay team. Jan Tesař, Pavel Maslák, Michal Desenský and Patrik Šorm set a new Czech national record of 3:02:66 in the heats, and approaching that time in Sunday’s final could have earned the quartet a place at the Olympics next month. However, their disappointing display in a fourth-place finish left them short of the limit to qualify for Rio. Maslák spoke to Czech Radio after the race:
“Our time today was not good enough. We ran slower – if we’d run like we did on Saturday, it would have been a dead cert. But we were too slow – it just didn’t work out for us. Fourth place would normally be a success. However, we wanted to reach the limit, so if anything we are disappointed.”
Pavel Maslák did enjoy individual success in Amsterdam, coming second in the 400m. The Czech Republic’s medals tally included three other silvers: for Vítězslav Veselý in the javelin, Jan Kudlička in the pole vault and Adam Helcelet in the decathlon.
Czech tennis number one Tomáš Berdych will have been disappointed to lose in three sets to Andy Murray in the semi-finals at Wimbledon. But one person celebrating at the close of the tournament was the Czech-born Ivan Lendl. The former playing great is in his second stint of coaching Murray and had this to say of his charge’s second Wimbledon triumph:
“It’s a great success for Andy to win again. Not many people manage to win once, never mind twice. I’m glad we were involved and that we helped him a bit. Andy had many tough matches, particularly from the mental perspective. He couldn’t switch off even for a second – if you do, things can turn against you very quickly.”
Karel Jarolím is in the frame to take over as manager of the Czech national soccer team after Pavel Vrba unexpectedly quit to take over at Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala. The head of the Czech Football Association, Miroslav Pelta, was due to hold talks with Jarolím’s club Mladá Boleslav on Monday about securing the coach’s release. Jarolím, who is 59, has helmed a number of clubs, including Slavia Prague and French side Rouen.
Goalkeeper Petr Čech has confirmed his retirement from international football. The 34-year-old, who has just won the Golden Ball for Czech player of the year for the 10th time, earned a record 124 caps for the Czech Republic over 14 years.
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