Sports News

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By Nick Carey

Time for the sport now, and we'll start with the biggest sporting event held in the Czech Republic over the weekend, the Czech motorcycling Grand Prix. There were two main races held in the Moravian capital of Brno over two days, one for 125cc bikes, the other 500cc, and although the Czech Republic fielded contestants in both races, the two trophies were taken by a Spaniard and an Italian respectively.

In the 125cc race, Spain's Toni Elias, riding a Honda, started in pole position, and led for seven laps, before slipping a few places. Elias gradually clawed his way back up, before taking the lead on the final lap. He finished the race in a time of 41 minutes 27 seconds, 0.7 seconds ahead of Italy's Lucio Cecchinello. Elias now has a 22 point lead in the championships, with 10 out of 16 races completed.

And it was another Honda rider, this time Italy's Valentino Rossi, who took the title in the 500cc event. His fellow countryman Max Biaggi, who has won the Brno event six times, started in pole position, but crashed on the 13th lap. Rossi subsequently took the lead, and won the race in just over 45 minutes, increasing his championship lead to almost thirty points.

Football now, and the results of the first division matches played on Sunday:

Teplice 1 : Slavia Prague 2

Sparta Prague 1 : Pribram 0

Ostrava 1 : Hradec Kralove 0

Bohemians Prague 1 : Drnovice 0

Synot Stare Mesto 0 : Viktoria Zizkov 1

Blsany 3 : Olomouc 1

Liberec 1 : Opava 1

Brno 2 : Jablonec 0

The season has certainly got off to a good start for the Bohemians, Viktoria Zizkov, Slavia and Olomouc, who have all won four out of five games and are sitting at the top of the table with 12 points apiece. Sparta Prague, who have won the league every year but one since the founding of the Czech Republic in 1993, are back in 7th place with 9 points. But it is very, very early days, so little cause for concern at this point.

And finally, a bizarre and quite unique sporting event took place in the Czech Republic on Saturday. This was the first annual mushroom-picking Olympics, held in the Eastern Bohemian town of Brzice. The 68 contestants taking part had from daybreak to lunchtime to gather as many mushrooms as they could. And it was a local girl, Hana Kubeckova, who romped home to victory with 17 kilograms of edible fungi, almost a fifth of the day's total haul. And this despite the tough conditions for the Olympics. According to organiser Jiri Martinec, the mushroom season is almost at an end, so the contestants had to look really, really hard to find them. But with nigh on 100 kilograms of mushrooms gathered, the people of Brzice will probably be sick of mushroom soup within a just few weeks.