By Peter Smith
Yes, it's the sport and let's begin in Edmonton, Canada and the World Athletics Championships, where the Czech decathlete Tomas Dvorak walked off with his 3rd successive gold medal with a championship record total of 8,902 points. The victory included a personal best for the Czech in the long-jump event, and makes up for the disappointment he suffered at the Sydney Olympics, when stomach and knee injuries reduced him to 6th place.
'I started here with a dream of 8,700 points,' Dvorak said later. 'It's a very nice result.' Dvorak is still short of the record of 9026 points set by his compatriot Roman Sebrle in May. 'I will save that for the future,' Dvorak vowed. 'The world record is a big dream but not here.'
The Olympic champion Erki Nool of Estonia took the silver with Dean Macey of the USA coming in third. Roman Sebrle had a torrid championships, managing only to finish 10th. The outstanding achievement puts Dvorak on a par with the American Dan O'Brien, who won back-to-back decathlon golds in 1991, 93 and 95.
Turning to football and disappointment once more for the fans of Slavia Prague. They were beaten 2-1 at home by the Greek club Panathiniakos in the Third Qualifying Round for the UEFA Champions League. The Greek international Nikolaos Liberopoulos put the visitors ahead on 25 minutes when he fired past Radek Cerny from close range. His striking partner Georgios Karagounis doubled their lead on 56 minutes with a shot from the edge of the penalty area. Czech international Pavel Kuka restored some hope for Slavia twelve minutes later, taking advantage of a goalmouth scramble to force the ball home.
The result should have been worse for Slavia - keeper Radek Cerny was dismissed four minutes from time after pulling down the Nigerian striker Emanuelle Olisadebe in the box. However, with only stand-in keeper, Slavia midfielder Richard Dostalek, to beat, Angelos Basinas fired wide.
Still a bad night for Prague's second team and they now have a mountain to climb in the return leg in Athens in a fortnight's time.