In Sports News: Sparta Prague collapse and Slavia Prague go two points ahead with one game remaining in the Czech football league; Sparta’s boss announces his decision to quit at the end of the season – and is promptly sacked; the Czechs are beaten by Sweden at the Ice Hockey World Championships; Patrik Eliáš is hurt by a TV camera in that game, but should be fit for Wednesday’s quarter-finals game; Štěpánka Hilgertová, 40, wins her second European slalom title; and Kenya’s Kenneth Mungara wins the Prague International Marathon.
The official opening of Slavia Prague's new stadium on Wednesday night was a momentous occasion for the football club, who for seven years had no ground of their own while a reconstruction project dragged on at their traditional home at Eden in Prague 10. Fourteen thousand red-and-white fans turned out to see the ultra-modern stadium, and an exhibition game between Slavia and Oxford University - the two sides having first played each other in 1899.
This weekend will see thousands of runners take to the streets of Prague for the 14th Prague International Marathon. The main 26-mile event will start on Pařížska Street, off Prague's Old Town Square this Sunday morning. Yet again the race will see not only a line-up of the world's top elite athletes, but also competitors from all walks of life and all around the world. I spoke to the President of the Marathon's Organizing Committee, Carlo Capalbo, about the history of the event and how he has seen it grow over the years.
In Sports News this Monday: mixed results for the Czech ice hockey team at the World Championships in Quebec, though there are several positives to be taken from a defeat to Russia; Jaromír Jágr pledges his future to New York Rangers following the club’s exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs; Sparta Prague falter in the race for the Czech football league title after Řepka sees red; and the Prague Open tennis tournament is won by Vera Zvonareva of Russia.
In today’s Mailbox, you will find out who the mystery lady from our April competition was. We will also announce the names of four of Radio Prague’s listeners who were drawn out of the hat and will receive small prizes from us for their correct answers. And of course, there is a brand new quiz question for you. Listeners quoted: Prasanta Kumar Padmapati, Christine Takaguchi-Coates, Jana Vaculik, Ian Morrison, Mark Guy, Panha Pen, Deepa Chakraborty, Colin Law, Partha Sarathi Goswami, Henrik Klemetz, David Eldridge, Christopher Roberts, Charles
Olga Fikotová won gold in the discus at the Olympic Games in 1956, less than two years after taking up the discipline. At the Olympics she met and fell in love with an American athlete, Harold Connolly. Back home in Czechoslovakia, their romance overshadowed her stunning success, with Olga accused of being a traitor by the communist authorities. Marriage to Harold spelled the end of her career as a Czechoslovak athlete, though she went on to represent the US at four Olympic Games. Olga Fikotová-Connolly is our guest in this special programme.
In Sports News: Czech boxer Konečný says he was slighted by judges in title fight; football’s Sparta edge closer to being crowned season champions; Chelsea draws level with Man United in English Premiership; Jágr’s Rangers in a 2-0 hole in their series against Pittsburgh in the NHL playoffs; Czech women’s team through to elite World Group in tennis’ Fed Cup.
In Sports News: Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri expresses conviction star Czech midfielder Pavel Nedvěd will play at Euro 2008; Slavia coach Karel Jarolím seen as likely to replace Karel Brückner as coach of national football team; football’s Sparta pull ahead of Slavia in domestic league; kayaker Hilgertová secures spot at Beijing Olympics; hockey star Jaromír Jágr shines in Rangers’ elimination of New Jersey in opening series in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Slavia Prague battled to a 4-2 victory against Karlovy Vary in the Extraliga Playoff Finals on Thursday evening. It all came down to a decisive Game 7. In the knockout competition 8 teams in the Czech hockey league battle to be champions, more prestigious and important than overall position in the regular season. Jamie Brindley has the story.
There has been renewed speculation that Czech soccer star Pavel Nedvěd might come out of international retirement to represent the Czech Republic at Euro 2008 – the European football championship held in Austria and Switzerland this summer. While he has not directly addressed the issue as yet, his return would almost certainly be welcomed by coach Karel Brückner, currently left with a major void in the midfield. Tomas Rosický, who succeeded Nedvěd as captain, remains injured and might not recover in time for the kick-off.