The Czech Republic’s most recognised long-distance swimmer Yvetta Hlaváčová – the women’s world record holder for fastest time across the English Channel – has begun a second attempt to tackle the Czech Republic’s famous Vltava River. Last year, enduring chilly waters and the occasional drowned rat, she swam 138 kilometres from Týn nad Vltavou, in southern Bohemia, to Prague, in a record seven days. This year, she set out to tackle the waters again – but with one difference: this time she’s swimming upstream.
In Sports News this Monday: Tomáš Dvořák fails to complete the final decathlon of a successful career blighted by injury; cyclist Roman Kreuziger is 14th overall in his first Tour de France – and second in the Under 25s category; Petr Čech signs an improved deal that should keep him at Chelsea until 2013; Tomáš Rosický targets a September return; and the Czech Under 19s reach the semi-finals at their European Championship.
The Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolánek, has just announced that he is going to the Olympics in Beijing next month. However, he is heeding a Czech cabinet recommendation that he boycott the opening ceremony and will arrive in China the following week. Why is Mr Topolánek going to Beijing? And who – if anyone – will represent the Czech Republic at the opening?
In Sports News this Monday: Czech pole vault record holder Kateřina Baďurová leaves it late to qualify for the Olympics; Barbora Špotáková is looking good ahead of Beijing after a Grand Prix win in Athens; young Czech cyclist Roman Kreuziger remains with the leading pack in the Tour de France – and third overall in the under 25 category; and a knee injury does for Tomáš Berdych in the final of tennis’s Swedish Open.
Today in Mailbox we disclose the identity of June’s mystery Czech and announce the names of the four winners who will receive prizes from Radio Prague. Listeners quoted: Prasanta Kumar Padmapati, Panha Pen, Stephen Wara, Robin Wisdom, Elder S J Agboola, Deepa Chakraborty, Jerry Fridrich, Aloisie Krasny, Bob Boundy, Colin Law, and David Eldridge.
Hockey’s Jaromír Jágr is bound for Russia after an illustrious career in the NHL; future Hall of Famer Dominik Hašek touches down in Czech Rep; Football’s Saturn Moscow eye Czech striker Václav Svěrkoš; the Czech Olympic team readies for Beijing; Kreuziger 37th after first two stages of cycling’s Tour de France.
Lenka Šmídová became the first Czech ever to win an Olympic medal in sailing, taking a silver medal in Athens four years ago. This time around, however, even qualifying to compete in the Olympic Games in Beijing has been tough. A change of category and numerous combinations of sailing partners along the way have meant her route to the games in China has been less than straightforward. I spoke to Lenka Šmídová at the Czech Yacht Club in Prague as she prepares to leave for China later this month.
In Sports News this Monday: Radek Štěpánek is so frustrated at going out in the third round at Wimbledon that he breaks six rackets; Nicole Vaidišová enjoys something of a return to form at the tournament; Jaromír Jagr is considering his future as his contract with New York Rangers comes to an end; and the Czech football association make an embarrassing claim that Gerard Houllier wants the job of Czech coach, while Klaus Toppmoller’s wage demands could rule him out.
The Czech football team may have come home from Euro 2008 earlier than they would have liked, but they haven't been out of the headlines. With players involved in a bar brawl in downtown Prague, and a war of words between goalkeeper Petr Čech and a senior figure in the Czech football association, it seems all is not well in and around the Czech side at present.
Sunday saw one of the biggest successes ever in Czech cycling: 22-year-old Roman Kreuziger won the 10-day Tour de Suisse or Tour de Switzerland after building a commanding lead in the final time trial. It is the first time a Czech cyclist has won a Pro Tour race. The young Czech will now set his sights on the most gruelling race of all, the famous Tour de France.