In Sports News: Two more podium finishes tighten Koukalová’s grip on Biathlon World Cup leadership while Krčmář takes first medal in competition; and Karolína Plíšková in new position among favourites as Australian Open starts.
After picking up silver in the sprint at Germany’s Ruhpolding, the Czech Republic’s reigning Biathlon World Cup winner Gabriela Koukalová also came second in the pursuit, further tightening her grasp on overall first place in this season’s competition.
Koukalová, who is 27 shared her thoughts with Czech Radio moments after crossing the finish line in the latter event.
“I’m very satisfied. It’s my sixth podium finish in a row and I don’t think I achieved that at all last year. It’s great – like a fairytale… Being first overall really spurs you on. It gives you positive energy for more events. I’m really looking forward to them. Right now I’m tired but that I still feel very competitive. Maybe tomorrow I’ll miss competing. I can’t wait for the next weekend – and hopefully the next positive results.”
Koukalová wasn’t the only noteworthy Czech in Ruhpolding. Twenty-five-year-old Michal Krčmář picked up his first ever biathlon World Cup medal – bronze – in the men’s pursuit event on Sunday.
This year the Czech women’s number one Karolína Plíšková finds herself in a new position as one of the favourites going into the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open. The 24-year-old from Louny reached the final of the US Open last term and has come in for unprecedented press attention in Melbourne.
“People say, You’re a clear favourite. I don’t see things like that. I don’t want to not believe in myself, but I know how hard it is. In New York it was very tough, too. So my aim right now is to get through the first round.”
No less a name than John McEnroe has tipped Karolína Plíšková to win Grand Slams. In an interview with the Czech daily Sport he also said she has what it takes to become world number one. And Plíšková will begin her campaign on centre court at the Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday against Sara Sorribes of Spain.
Karolína Plíšková’s twin sister Kristýna has already made it through to the second round at the Australian Open after beating Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland. So has Czech men’s number one and tenth seed Tomáš Berdych, who beat Italy’s Luca Vanni. However, Kateřina Siniaková, who recently won her first WTA title in Shenzhen, has been knocked out in round one in Melbourne by Julia Goerges of Germany.
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