Sports News

Sparta Prague celebrate with their fans as they win the sixth ice hockey Extraliga title in their history. Sparta's football club, meanwhile, are now six points behind league-leaders Liberec with just four games left to play. Just a couple of the stories making the headlines in Sports News with Ian Willougbhy.

Sparta Prague hold massive party for fans after winning Extraliga

Sparta after winning Extraliga,  photo CTK
Sparta Prague have won the ice hockey Extraliga. Sparta won the final series against reigning champions Vitkovice by three games to one with a 4:1 victory in Ostrava on Friday evening. It's the sixth league title in Sparta's history.

After their victory, Sparta's players came up with a popular idea - a free victory party for fans at their Prague stadium on Sunday evening. An incredible four thousand fans took to the ice to meet the players, get autographs and have their photos taken with the trophy. There was even a short game between Sparta and members of their fanclub.

Augusta calls up Extraliga talent for international squad

International coach Josef Augusta was evidently impressed by the Extraliga final series - as the World Championships in Sweden draw near, he has picked eight players from Sparta and Vitkovice for the Czech squad. And it now appears that Jaromir Jagr will after all be available for the championships, as his NHL team, the Washington Capitals, have failed to make it into the Stanley Cup.

And former Czech coach Ivan Hlinka says he does want to take up a post at the Russian club Omsk. First though he has to negotiate with Pittsburgh, to whom he is still under contract, even though the NHL club sacked him at the end of last year.

Defeat for Sparta as Liberec go six points clear in football league

At the same time as fans of Sparta Prague's ice hockey team were celebrating victory on Friday, the club's football team were seeing their title hopes fade even further, as they went down 1:0 away to Banik Ostrava, thanks to a goal from former Sparta defender Rene Bolf.

On Saturday, league-leaders Liberec came to Prague to face Slavia and didn't go home empty handed. After a goal-less and boring first half, Liberec's Vaclav Kolousek scored with a wonderful free kick from around 25 yards in the 54th minute. Slavia got one back a couple of minutes later - only the third Liberec have conceded this spring - but then Jan Nezmar put two in the net at the other end to secure a convincing win for the club from north Bohemia.

So Liberec lead the table with 60 points, four ahead of Vitkoria Zizkov, whose 1:0 win over Olomouc saw them pass out Sparta, now on 54 points. All three teams have only four more games this season.

Enge scores first point in Formula 3000 with sixth place in San Marino

The top Czech racing driver Tomas Enge has taken his first point of the Formula 3000 season, having come sixth at San Marino, Italy on Sunday. Just like in Brazil two weeks ago, Enge - who races with the Arden International team - was dogged by mechanical problems, this time with his tyres.

World Chess Trophy due for Prague's Zofin at the end of April

And finally, the world's top chess player, Gary Kasparov of Russia, is due in Prague at the end of the month for the biggest chess tournament ever to take place in this country. Thirty one other top chess players - including five former world champions - will also take part in the World Chess Trophy tournament at Prague's Zofin from April 27 to May 5.