Sports News

By Peter Smith

Yes, it's the sport and let's begin with some Czech success in the European Triathlon Championships which were held in the West Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary over the weekend. In the men's event the home favourite Filip Ospaly took the gold medal with a combined time of 2:03:55 for the three disciplines - those being the 1,500m swim, the 40km bike ride and the 10km run - pretty grueling stuff! The 25-year-old Ospaly becomes the first Czech to ever win a triathlon gold medal. The 28-year-old Michelle Dillon from England came first in the women's race.

Whereas one Czech athlete has reason to celebrate another has good cause to worry. A second drugs test on the shot-putter Miroslav Menc - taken after a meeting in Teplice on 26th April - has confirmed the presence in his sample of norandrosterone - a derivative of the performance-enhancing drug nandrolone. The athlete now faces the prospect of a life-ban by the International Amateur Athletics Federation since Menc was previously suspended for two years for a doping offence.

Turning to football and the former Slavia Prague coach Karel Jarolim has signed a contract with Racing Strasbourg to become Ivan Hasek's number two at the French Second Division team. The former Sparta boss' second assistant at the Alsace club has been confirmed as Jean-Marc Kuentz. The three have all agreed two-year deals.

The Czech Under-20s team have advanced to the knock-out stages of the World Youth Championships in Argentina, despite going down 3-0 to their final Group D opponents Japan in Rosario. The youngsters will face Costa Rica in Thursday's second round match.

Can't leave of course without mentioning the waft in the air of freshly cut lawns laced with a bowl of strawberries and cream... yes the All-England Tennis Championships at Wimbledon get underway Monday and six singles players will hoping to fill the gaping chasm left in the Czech game by the retirements of Jana Novotna and Petr Korda.

The pick of the first round ties sees up and coming Daniela Bedanova up against the number 19 seed and 1994 Wimbledon Champion Conchita Martinez of Spain. In the men's event. Jiri Vanek may well be the first Czech casualty on the London grass this year - he faces the former French Open Champion Michael Chang of the USA.