Sports News

Vera Pospisilova, photo: CTK

All eyes are on the German city of Munich this week for the European Athletics Championships and we'll be bringing you a full look at how the Czech team has fared in Sports Report on Monday.

First Czech success at European Athletics Championships

Vera Pospisilova, photo: CTK
All eyes are on the German city of Munich this week for the European Athletics Championships and we'll be bringing you a full look at how the Czech team has fared in Sports Report on Monday. But I can bring news of one Czech success from Wednesday. The 23-year-old discus thrower Vera Pospisilova achieved her lifetime best at 62.31 metres, but had mixed feelings at coming fourth, winning what Czechs traditionally call the "bramoborova medaile" or "potato medal" - ie no medal at all.

Sparta Prague progresses in Europe but bad news for Teplice

Football now, and Sparta Prague was in the Caucasian republic of Georgia yesterday for a Champions' League qualifier against Torpedo Kutaisi. After beating the Georgians 3-0 at home last week Sparta had a shaky start away, conceding the first goal five minutes before the break. But they came back to win 2-1, and in a show of sportsmanship the Kutaisi fans cheered the Prague team at the end and wished them luck in their next qualifier. Sparta will now have to beat the Belgian club Genk, to get into the main competition.

Not such good news for the North Bohemian team Teplice, in their qualifying match for the finals of the Intertoto Cup. They lost at home against Bologna 1-3 after a disastrous 5-1 defeat in Italy last week, crushing Teplice's hopes in Europe for another year.

Ice-hockey: Russian hero in Prague; Czech hero in Siberia

One of the legends of Russian ice hockey arrived in Prague on Wednesday - 72-year-old Viktor Tichonov, who coached the Soviet team to no less than three Olympic golds. He's still very active, coaching the top-league Moscow team CSKA Moskva, which he's brought to the Czech Republic for a series of practice matches. CSKA Moskva includes three top Czech players.

This may seem surprising, but these days it's not at all unusual. After years in the doldrums and a steady drain to the North American NHL, Russian ice hockey really is picking up and opening up, and many teams have begun recruiting abroad. One of the Czech ice-hockey heroes, the trainer Ivan Hlinka, who coached the Czechs to gold at Nagano, recently moved to the Siberian team Omsk, after a season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. A surprising move, perhaps, but in an interview for the paper Lidove noviny, Hlinka says that he's enjoying the new job. He says that he's much respected in Omsk, where people well remember his playing days of the seventies and eighties. Hlinka confounds the stereotypes, saying that he's been offered excellent conditions both for living and for hockey. On top of that he'll be coaching two of the very best Czech players, the forwards Pavel Patera and Martin Prochazka.

Stanley Cup to come to the Czech Republic

And finally, staying with ice-hockey, the NHL's coveted Stanley Cup will be in the Czech Republic next week - in the protective hands of Dominik Hasek - the man who's probably the greatest Czech goaltender in history. In June Hasek's team, the Detroit Red Wings, battled to overall victory in the NHL, a fit ending to the glittering career of the man known as "The Dominator". Tens of thousands of fans are expected to turn up on the 18th August in Hasek's native town of Pardubice - before the cup is whisked back across the Atlantic.