Sports News

Czech Republic - Russia, photo: CTK

The golden era of Czech ice hockey has come to an end, with a defeat in the quarter-finals at the World Championships in Sweden. The Russians outplayed us, says Jagr. Former triple jump world champion Sarka Kasparkova is making a comeback after having a baby. The Czech football league reaches a dramatic climax on Friday - the first time in a decade the title has come down to the last round. Those stories and more feature in Sports News.

End of an era for Czech ice hockey after quarter-finals defeat

Czech Republic - Russia, photo: CTK
They're calling it the end of an era. The glory days have come to an end for the Czech Republic's ice hockey team; after winning the World Championships three years in a row, the Czechs crashed out of the competition on Tuesday evening with a 3:1 defeat at the hands of Russia in the quarter finals. Russia's defence was rock solid and the reigning champions were let down by both their shooting and their passing. The Russians simply outplayed us, said Czech captain Jaromir Jagr after the game. Coach Josef Augusta, whose contract is until June, said it was too early for him to consider his future, but admitted he would like to remain in the post.

Former triple jump world champion Kasparkova makes comeback

Sarka Kasparkova with her daughter Terezka, photo: CTK
The Czech triple jumper Sarka Kasparkova is making a comeback after having her first child almost a year ago. Kasparkova won the bronze at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and took gold at the World Championships in Athens a year later. In 1998 she was named Czech athlete of the year. At a press conference in Prague this morning Kasparkova - accompanied by her 11-month-old daughter Terezka and trainer husband - talked about how she got back into training.

"In the beginning I had trouble running a couple of kilometres in the woods, but the more we've trained my fitness has returned. But that's general fitness - we've had to do a lot of work on technique too. But I thought coming back would be a lot worse. In the beginning I was glad to train, it was a kind of rest - in the best sense of the word - from Terezka. As for the future, I'm firmly convinced I'll jump further than I ever have before."

Dramatic climax to Czech football league as season ends Friday

The Czech football league comes to a dramatic climax this weekend - the first time in a decade that the title has come down to the last game. On Friday evening leaders Liberec - on 64 points - visit Bohemians, while on the other side of Prague Slavia play host to Viktoria Zizkov, who are on 63.

Koller scores in UEFA Cup final as Dortmund lose 3:2

Czech striker Jan Koller got a goal in the UEFA Cup final on Wednesday night, though it wasn't enough to win the game for his club Borussia Dortmund. They lost the match to Feyernoord 3:2.

"Silver Generation" nearing end of line

What the Czech press refers to as the "Silver Generation" - the team which reached the final at Euro 96, only to lose to Germany - are evidently near the end of the line. There have been reports in the British press that Liverpool are planning to sell both Patrik Berger and Vladimir Smicer. Another member of the "Silver Generation", Karel Poborsky didn't have a bad season at Italy's Lazio - and scored two on Sunday in their important victory over Inter Milan - but he still plans to leave the club. There has been speculation for some time that Poborsky will move to Sparta Prague. Another Euro 96er, Brno's Miroslav Kadlec, is playing his last game on Friday, just a few weeks before his 38th birthday.

Nedved ill, doubtful for Italy friendly and Italian cup final

Things could be better for Pavel Nedved too. He has been suffering from severe headaches for the last few weeks and only played in in his club Juventus's last league game of the season because the Serie A title was at stake. Nedved did not take part in Juve's victory celebrations and may miss the Coppa d'Italia final on Friday. He is also doubtful for the Czech Republic's friendly against Italy in Prague on Saturday week.

Cestmir Vycpalek, Holocaust survivor and Juventus manager, dies at 80

And Czech Cestmir Vycpalek, who played for and later managed Juventus, has died in Italy at the age of 80. During his four years as Juve coach in the early 70s, the club won the Italian league twice and reached the Cup Winners Cup final. In his early life, Vycpalek survived Dachau concentration camp, something he attributed to the fact he was a trained athlete.

Novak reaches third round in Rome, Bedanova out of German Open

Jiri Novak has won through to the third round of the tennis's ATP Masters Series in Rome. Novak, who is seeded 14th, beat Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands 6-4 6-4. Fellow Czech Daniela Bedanova didn't make it past the second round of the German Open in Berlin - she lost 7-6 4-6 7-5 to Spain's Cristina Torrens Valero.