After winning the European Under 21 Football Championships for the first time ever last year, the Czech Under 21s have failed to reach Euro 2004, after losing to Switzerland on penalties in play-offs in Ostrava on Wednesday. Two more Czech footballers have signed with Russian clubs, continuing a recent trend. In ice hockey, goaltender Roman Cechmanek kept a clean sheet for Los Angeles on Wednesday as he won his 100th NHL victory.
Three Czech football players scored their debut international goals in a 5:1 win over Canada on Saturday that showed the squad's strength in depth. Meanwhile, the country's Under 21s - the reigning European champions - are in a good position to reach their Euro 2004, after beating Switzerland away in the first leg of play-offs. Decathlete Roman Sebrle has once again been named Czech Athlete of the Year, and 17-year-old Jakub Sindel has broken Jaromir Jagr's record to become the youngest player to ever score a hat trick in the domestic ice hockey
The Czech football team has beaten Canada 5-1 in a friendly in the North Bohemian town of Teplice. Goals by Jankulovski, Poborsky, Heinz, Sionko and Skacel steered the Czechs to an easy victory before the start of the winter break. The Czech Republic haven't been beaten in the last 19 matches - a new record for Czech football.
Without a doubt one of the most interesting items making the front-pages this day is the BBC's interview with Vaclav Klaus. The Czech president appeared on the BBC's hard-hitting discussion programme Hardtalk, hosted by Tim Sebastian, on Monday. The programme, which does exactly what its title implies, asked some tough questions of the Czech president, asking him to reflect on the situation of the Czech Roma and alleged weapons exports, both issues the president downplayed or rejected outright, says MLADA FRONTA DNES. The daily quotes the president
In football, leaders Ostrava were fortunate to come away from Sparta Prague with a point on Saturday, after the most exciting league game seen in the Czech Republic in some time. Several Czech players found the net in various European leagues at the weekend, and coach Jaroslav Hrebik has taken over at Dinamo Moscow. The Czech ice hockey team came second in the Karjala Cup and the Velka Kunraticka cross country race was held for the 70th time, with one runner saying this was his last year after an incredible 55 outings!
Czech football clubs have had mixed experiences in European competitions this week: Sparta lost to Besiktas in the Champions League, while in the UEFA Cup Teplice caused a huge upset by beating 2002 winners Feyenoord away and Slavia drew with Levski Sofia, with two goals scored in time added on! In ice hockey, the Czechs had a winning start in the Karjala Cup and there is speculation Jaromir Jagr may leave Washington for Montreal.
Czech tennis number one Jiri Novak reached the semi-final of the Paris Masters, in what he describes as the second best season of his career. In football, a record crowd at Banik Ostrava saw the league leaders go six points clear of nearest rivals Sparta, who lost to bogey team Zlin, and Czech internationals have been in the news around Europe. Czech ice hockey league leaders Pardubice won their first game after five outings, and legendary goaltender Dominik Hasek is going through a difficult period at the moment.
Czechs Today is our new monthly feature profiling prominent men and women shaping contemporary Czech life. To kick off our new series we decided to begin with sport - universally recognised and enjoyed - and an area where Czechs have made their mark. Among Czech athletes there are few who draw more attention than football's Pavel Nedved, the extremely talented midfielder who plays for Italy's Juventus Turin and captains the Czech national side. Adored by legions of fans both here and abroad, the Furia Ceca, as he is nicknamed in the Italian league,
Among today's headlines in sport: Ostrava Banik remain unbeaten in the Czech first division / Football side Olomouc blanks Slavia at home for first time in 8 years / Hockey goalie Hasek notches first shutout of the season / Czechs help Ottawa Senators trounce Montreal / Koukal achieves career high in 15 km cross-country skiing freestyle sprint.
Remnants of medieval wall dating back to 1041 unearthed in Břeclav
Measures taken as over 60 percent of Czech Republic hit by extreme drought
Beer, schnitzel and mushroom picking – unique set of emojis captures Czech soul
Barbora Strýcová, 33, in “best form” ahead of Wimbledon semi-final against Serena Williams
Gene Deitch, Part 1: The Oscar-winning US animator who made Tom and Jerry cartoons in communist Prague