Sports News

From left to right: javelin thrower Nikola Tomeckova, decathlete Roman Sebrle and runner Jiri Muzik, photo: CTK

All eyes are on Munich this week for the European Athletics Championships and the Czech Republic is there with a record 40 member team. The big Czech hopes for the event are the declathletes, Roman Sebrle and Tomas Dvorak, and the javelin thrower Jan Zelezny. There's been a question-mark hanging over the fitness of Zelezny and Dvorak, but decathlon world record holder Roman Sebrle seems in top form. He was cautiously optimistic, when Radio Prague caught up with him on Friday on his way to Munich.

Czech hopes for the European Athletics Championships

"It won't break my heart if I'm second or third," he told us, "but I will be disappointed". As far as his rival and compatriot Tomas Dvorak is concerned, Sebrle said that despite the rivalry, they would both be a support to one another.

From left to right: javelin thrower Nikola Tomeckova, decathlete Roman Sebrle and runner Jiri Muzik, photo: CTK
And the big question, will the young Czech decathlete try to break his own world record?

"If everything's on my side - with the weather and the various different pressures, I'll go for it," he said, after a long and careful hesitation."

For the veteran javelin thrower, Jan Zelezny, one of the legends of the sport, this will probably be his last start at the European Championships. Despite lingering back trouble, in the end Zelezny couldn't resist one last try for gold in a competition he has yet to win. His chances aren't bad. On European league tables, he's currently in second place.

Other Czech athletes to look out for are Ludmila Formanova in the 800m and the javelin thrower Nikola Tomeckova.

Good basketball news from Zagreb

Over now to some very good news from the world of Czech basketball. On Saturday the Czech women's under 20s overcame the Russian girls 77-74, to become European Champions in Zagreb. On their way, they beat Greece, France and Russia, and they now have two players in the international All-Stars Team. And that's after winning silver last year.

Football: Petr Cech starts badly in France, but success back home for Sparta Prague

And to football. Czech goalie Petr Cech had a frustrating start in the colours of the French top-league team Stade Rennes. They lost by the tightest of margins on Saturday, after a penalty in the 86th minute which flew past the young Czech national team member. Cech became well known in France after his unforgettable performance in the under-21 finals earlier this year, when the Czech Republic beat France for the gold.

Back home, with the football first league in its second round, Sparta Prague on Saturday confirmed their status as favourites, overwhelming the South Bohemian side, Ceske Budejovice 3-1, who failed to repeat their impressive form against another big Prague team, Bohemians, last weekend. The North Bohemian Teplice continue in disastrous form - conceding no less than 10 goals in the space of a week. The first five came from Bologna in Wednesday's Intertoto Cup encounter, and then they went down to Banik Ostrava 5-1 in a neurotic and erratic game where all the goals fell in the second half. "We were beaten by ourselves" was all that trainer, Frantisek Cipro, could say at the end of the match.