This summer's football World Cup was a big disappointment for the Czech Republic, who were knocked out in the group stage. But the World Cup is already history, and the Czech team are now preparing for the qualifiers for the 2008 European Championships; their opening game is against Wales at home on Saturday, while next Wednesday they play their former compatriots Slovakia in Bratislava. I discussed those games and more with goalkeeper Petr Cech.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic take two medals at the World Rowing Championships in Eton, though there is disappointment for the men's quadruple sculls team; the four Czech teams in football's UEFA Cup face a tough draw, though Slavia boss Karel Jarolim insists they will do their all to overcome Spurts; good news for the national team - Petr Cech is back ahead of two Euro 2008 qualifiers: and ski-jumper Jakub Janda settles a dispute with the Czech Skiing Union.
Two Czech football clubs have failed to progress in the third and final qualifying round for club football's most prestigious championship, the Champions League. Ahead of their game, few gave tiny Mlada Boleslav much chance at beating Turkey's Galatasaray already up a number of goals on aggregate, but there were hopes on Wednesday that Slovan Liberec might pull through. They faced Spartak Moscow in the Russian capital. Fifteen minutes before time it was close. In the drizzling rain, both sides were tied 1:1 - a situation that would have seen Liberec
Pavel Nedved - the greatest Czech player of his generation - has announced his retirement from international football. Speaking ahead of his last game for the Czech Republic on Wednesday, Nedved said he wanted to spend more time with his family - and wouldn't be up to international speed playing in Italy's Serie B with Juventus. He also said he plans to retire in a year's time, if Juve are promoted.
In Sports News: Roman Sebrle becomes the first decathlete in two decades to defend his title at the European Athletics Championship; Barbora Spotakova takes silver in the javelin in Gothenburg, and breaks her own Czech women's record along the way; there are few changes to the Czech football squad ahead of Wednesday's friendly versus Serbia; and Liberec stride out in front in the Czech league while Sparta manage just one goal in three games.
Jan Zelezny is widely believed to be the greatest athlete to have ever thrown the javelin. He holds the world record in the discipline, and has been both Olympic and World Champion three times. His long and glittering career came to an end on Wednesday night, when Zelenzy, now 40, took part in his final competition, the European Championships. Fittingly, he came away with one last medal.
Last weekend was a momentous one for Czech long-distance swimming: Yvetta Hlavacova set a new women's world record for swimming the English Channel, while David Cech became the first Czech to swim the Channel in both directions. While Cech has been enjoying his success, Hlavacova has surprised many by saying she wants to brave the Channel again in just a few weeks' time.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic picks up one gold and one bronze medal at the Slalom Racing World Championships in Prague, though the country's best known kayaker Stepanka Hilgertova is disappointed with fifth place; swimmer Yvetta Hlavacova sets a new women's world record for swimming the English Channel; tennis star Nicole Vaidisova is now ranked ninth in the world; Jiri Welsch is forced to leave basketball's NBA; and Liberec and Mlada Boleslav win ahead of their Champions League ties this week.