Title hopefuls Viktoria Plzeň, Sparta Prague and Slavia Prague all take three points as new season starts; Ogrodníková comes second in women’s javelin at London Diamond League meeting; Vrzalová breaks long-standing record in mile; and Hermannová and Nausch take bronze at European Beach Volleyball Championships.

Title hopefuls off to winning starts as 2018–2019 season kicks off

Dukla Prague - Viktoria Plzeň, photo: ČTK/Michal KamarytDukla Prague - Viktoria Plzeň, photo: ČTK/Michal Kamaryt The new Czech top flight football season got underway at the weekend, with title contenders Viktoria Plzeň, Sparta Prague and Slavia Prague all picking up three points straight out of the blocks.

Plzeň were the first in action, when they faced Dukla Prague in the capital in Friday evening’s 2018–2019 curtain raiser.

The champions fell behind in the first half but turned things around in the final quarter to eventually win 3:1.

Plzeň manager Pavel Vrba said the way the game went could benefit his players in the longer run.

“I remember a similar game last season against Jihlava, when we turned the game around and scored to make it 2:1 in, I believe, the final minute. It’s possible that today’s win will help put the players at ease. But it’s also a reminder that the Czech league isn’t as easy as some may think.”

For their part, Sparta also left it late to find the net against newcomers Opava in the capital but in the end secured a 2:0 victory.

Pavel Hapal, photo: ČTK/Ondřej DemlPavel Hapal, photo: ČTK/Ondřej Deml Sparta had only won twice in seven warmup games but trainer Pavel Hapal said that had little influence on the club’s start to the season.

“I sensed some nervousness, but around us, not in the changing room. We worked very hard in the first three weeks of training and were very tired in those games. We didn’t choose easy opponents, either. I believe there is quality in this team and that we will triumph.”

Slavia Prague made the most impressive start to the new season, overpowering Olomouc 3:0 away to claim top spot in the table on goal difference. There were also wins for Bohemians 1905, Zlín and Slovan Liberec in the opening round.

Ogrodníková comes second in javelin in London

Nikola Ogrodníková, photo: ČTK/Petr SznapkaNikola Ogrodníková, photo: ČTK/Petr Sznapka Nikola Ogrodníková came second in the women’s javelin throw at a Diamond League athletics meeting in London at the weekend. The Czech, who is 27, was beaten by Huihui Lyu of China; her best throw of 65.54 metres was 18 centimetres longer than Ogrodníková’s.

Vrzalová sets new national women’s record in mile after over three decades

Runner Simona Vrzalová set a new Czech women’s record in the mile at that same meeting in London. She crossed the line in a time of 4:21:54 to break a record set back in 1986.

Czech pairing earn bronze at European Beach Volleyball Championships

Markéta Nausch, Barbora Hermannová, photo: ČTK/PR/Sport InvestMarkéta Nausch, Barbora Hermannová, photo: ČTK/PR/Sport Invest The Czech pair of Barbora Hermannová and Markéta Nausch came third in the European Beach Volleyball Championships in the Hague at the weekend. They overcame a Spanish pairing in the competition’s bronze medal decider.