The Czech Republic’s national football team defeated EURO 2012 co-hosts Poland in their last group-stage game on Saturday to surprisingly emerge as winners of Group A. After a disappointing start to the tournament against Russia, the Czech team gained momentum and beat both Greece and Poland, advancing to the quarter-finals where they’ll play Portugal on Thursday. But the injured Czech captain Tomáš Rosický’s participation in the game is uncertain.
In today’s One on One, I talk to Jan Kopka, a well-known mountain biker who specialises in extreme (or adventure) racing. His first major competition, years ago, was the Crocodile Trophy in Australia. Later, Kopka won the Iditarod Invitational, an MTB race held in winter across Alaska. In today’s interview, those (as well as a race across the Czech Republic and Slovakia) are discussed; if you want to know it feels like to cross the finish line after racing hundreds of kilometres, read on.
The Czech national football team rebounded on Tuesday from its opening loss at EURO 2012, by defeating opponents Greece. The squad got off to the best possible start: scoring two goals inside of six minutes. But a mistake by goalie Čech in the second half put Greece back in the game, and made this one closer than it should have been.
Friday night at 8:45 p.m., the Czech national team meets Russia, its first opponent in the group stage of the EURO 2012 soccer championships, hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. The Czechs will also be playing Greece and Poland in the group stage. Ahead of the kick-off, we spoke to Czech soccer star Pavlína Ščasná-Nováková, who previously has played with FC Bayern Munich as well as other international teams, about the Czechs’ chances, the health of the squad’s star players and the strengths of the national team.
In Sports News: the Czech national football team arrives in Poland ahead of Euro 2012; in hockey, the L.A. Kings have won the first two games of Stanley Cup finals against the New Jersey Devils, lessening the chance the cup will travel to the Czech Republic this year; in tennis, world No. 4 Petra Kvitová and fellow Czech player Klára Zakopalová have both made it to the fourth round at the French Open.
In Sports News: Eleven days before the start of Euro 2012, football coach Bílek makes final change to national team roster; in related news, the coach will head the national squad at least until the summer of 2014; Czech swimmer Petra Chocová takes gold the European Swimming Championships in Hungary; cyclist Kreuziger finishes in disappointing 15th spot in Giro d’Italia; press suggests Leafs could pick-up hockey goalie Vokoun.
It was a dramatic game: a last-minute goal by Milan Michálek some 30 seconds before the end of the match against Sweden on Thursday brought the Czechs the victory they needed to advance to the semi-finals in this year’s Ice Hockey World Championship. The Czech 4:3 result also marks the first time in 12 years that Sweden will not be playing in the semifinals. In the next match, the Czech Republic faces its neighbor Slovakia. While this is the third time that the Czechs will be competing for a spot in the finals, this year’s solid performance of the