Sports News

By Peter Smith

Starting with football and Kaiserslautern's Czech international Vratislav Lokvenc has been given a late call up to the national team for the friendly in Macedonia on Wednesday. The in-form striker has been added to the squad as a late replacement for the Rapid Vienna forward Rene Wagner, who dropped out through illness.

National team coach Josef Chovanec is expected to use the match in Skopje to experiment ahead of the crucial World Cup Qualifyer in Northern Ireland on March 24th, and may decide to give Lokvenc and Anderlecht's Jan Koller a half each in attack.

Well, the adverse weather conditions wreaked havoc with the many sporting events over the weekend. Football fans were disappointed here in the Czech Republic when the entire League programme was called-off due to heavy the heavy snow. The Czech FA decided on Friday that although many of the pitches around the country were still playable, away teams couldn't guarantee arriving at their destinations on time. This follows the example of the Teplice team - traveling to their match against StavoArtikel Brno on Friday. The team coach was forced to turn back to Prague after getting stuck in slow moving traffic on the motorway, poor chaps. Alternative dates for the fixtures have yet to be decided.

Well, if we thought it was cold here over the weekend then spare a thought for the competitors at the Nordic Skiing World Championships in Lahti, Finland. Temperatures of minus 23 degrees caused the cancellation of a number of the top events, among them the women's 30 km free-style. There was some action Sunday - the Czech team came in 7th in Team K90 ski jumping event with the Austrians taking the gold.

Finally onto athletics and a result from the World Indoor Meeting in Lievin, France. Helena Fuchsova of the Czech Republic came in third in the 800 metres, behind Stiphanie Graf of Austria and the Mozambique runner Maria Mutola. Pavla Hamackova also took the bronze in the pole vault with the gold going to the Russian Svetlana Feofanova.