Sports News

Katerina Neumannova, photo: CTK

The leading Czech skier Katerina Neummanova has finally received the silver and bronze medals she won at the last Winter Olympics after a Russian who finished ahead of her was found to have taken drugs. Meanwhile, Jiri Raska - who won gold and silver medals at the 1968 Winter Olympics - has been named Czech skier of the century. In football, Sparta Prague go into the winter break some distance behind Ostrava, after being beaten by Jablonec. Czech born tennis legend Martina Navratilova has maintained her incredible 28-year Fed Cup unbeaten record, and a Czech duo have won the World Cycle-ball Championships.

Neumannova finally receives Olympic skiing medals at Prague ceremony

Katerina Neumannova, photo: CTK
Czech cross country skier Katerina Neumannova has finally received silver and bronze medals she won at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. A Russian skier who finished ahead of Neummanova in two events was later disqualified for drug taking, but it has taken almost two years for the medals to reach their rightful owner. Neummanova, who had her first baby in the summer, was presented with the medals in Prague on Friday. She described her feelings afterwards:

"While people were applauding I guess I was thinking about all the things that have happened in my life between the Olympics in Salt Lake City and now - so many things have happened. So it was a moving moment for me but the most important thing is that the medals are now where they should be, which I'm happy about."

Legendary ski-jumper Jiri Raska named Czech skier of century

Neumannova received her Olympic medals at a ceremony in Prague's historic Carolinum which was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Czech Skiers Union. At the event, legendary ski-jumper Jiri Raska was named Czech skier of the century; Raska, who is now 62, won gold and silver medals at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble. Katerina Neumannova came second in the poll, followed by ski-jumper Pavel Ploc.

Sparta go into winter break some distance behind leaders Ostrava

Jablonec - Sparta, photo: CTK
The last round before the Czech football league's winter break has certainly been dramatic, with both Sparta and Slavia Prague losing. Slavia - who have sold many of their best players in the last six months - were beaten 1:0 at home by Ceske Budejovice on Friday. Sparta, meanwhile, lost 4:2 away to Jablonec on Saturday, not the best preparation for a trip to Chelsea in the Champions League this week. The title-holders are now six points behind league-leaders Ostrava, who can go into the winter break with a very impressive nine-point lead if they beat Opava on Monday evening.

Navratilova maintains 28-year Fed Cup unbeaten record

Is there no end to Martina Navratilova's achievements? At the weekend the Czech-born tennis legend maintained her record of never having been beaten in the Fed Cup since her 1975 debut for Czechoslovakia (when her native country won). Navratilova, who has been a United States citizen for many years, helped the US to a doubles victory against France in the final of the Fed Cup in Moscow on Sunday, though that win was to little avail as France were already leading four matches to love. Navratilova, now 47, has won an incredible 39 Fed Cup matches. She is expected to retire after representing the US at next year's Olympic Games.

Czech duo take gold at Cycle-ball World Championships

Czech duo Miroslav Berger and Jiri Hrdlicka have become the world champions of cycle-ball, or cycle-soccer, in which - as the names suggest - competitors play "football" on bikes. The Czechs beat Switzerland in Sunday's final in the French town of Schiltigheim, a game Berger described as the most dramatic he had played in some time.