Bronze for canoe team
Yes, it's sport and there's another bronze medal to report for the Czechs at the Sydney Olympics. Actually, two medals, one each for Marek Jiras and Tomas Mader who came in 3rd in the Final of the Men's Canoeing Doubles.
It was a bit of a Central European triple bill, actually. Pavol and Peter Hochschorner of Slovakia took the gold in the event and the Polish duo of Kolomanski and Staniszewski the silver.
Now, if the medals achieved so far by the Czechs in canoeing and shooting can be described as the hors-d'oeuvres, few would disagree that track and field athletics are the main course at any Olympic Games. One athlete to have truly dominated his discipline during the '90s was Jan Zelezny. The Javelin thrower won his first Olympic gold in Barcelona back in 1992, and then became the first thrower since 1924 to retain his crown by triumphing in Atlanta four years ago.
Now 34 years old, time looks to be finally catching up with Zelezny, and even though the resident of Jablonec is still very much one of the favorites to win in Sydney, he insists that there's still no greater feeling than winning your first Olympic gold: Olympic Javelin champion and still the current world-record holder, Jan Zelezny. We wish him the best of luck.
Let's end on a sour note, though. Maybe the Czechs were unlucky at Euro 2000, but their Olympic counterparts certainly can't claim to have been after being eliminated in the first group phase of the competition. In their final group match, a 1-1 draw with Cameroon was enough to send the Africans through to the quarter-finals and Karel Bruckner's young charges tumbling out of the tournament. They must have been in a real hurry to get home.