Sports News

Ilona Hlavackova, foto: CTK

The Czech swimmer Ilona Hlavackova has won gold and silver medals at the European Short Course Championships in Dublin: she tells us she couldn't have wished for a better Christmas present. In football's Champions League Sparta Prague have drawn holders AC Milan: Sparta's chairman is relishing the prospect. Jiri Welsch is going strong in basketballs' NBA, while upcoming Czech ice hockey star Jiri Hudler has scored his first goal in the NHL.

Swimmer Hlavackova wins gold in 50 metres backstroke in Dublin

Ilona Hlavackova, photo: CTK
Czech swimmer Ilona Hlavackova has taken gold in the 50 metres at the European Short Course Championships in Dublin. Hlavackova touched the wall ahead of Antje Buchschulte in Saturday's final, a day after the German swimmer had kept her in second place in the 100 metres backstroke. Buchshulte had also denied the Czech swimmer top spot at last year's championships. However, Ilona Hlavackova said she was not aware of her rival, who was in the lane beside her, during the 50 metres final.

"I really didn't notice that I was swimming beside last year's European 50 metre backstroke champion. After the semi-final I had a feeling that if everything went right for me I could win the gold this time. I had to try and not be nervous, and to make as few mistakes as possible. I am completely satisfied to have won silver and gold - I couldn't have asked for anything nicer under my Christmas tree."

Another Czech also took two medals at the Dublin swimming championships: Kvetoslav Svoboda came second in the 200 metres freestyle (for the fourth year in a row) and third in the 400 metres freestyle.

Sparta draw AC Milan in Champions League, Teplice face Celtic in UEFA Cup

Sparta Prague have drawn the holders AC Milan in the next round of football's Champions League, with the first leg due to be played in Prague in the last week of February. It is a tough draw for Sparta, though club chairman Vlastimil Kostal has no complaints.

"They are the most attractive team but of course all the teams left in the competition are excellent. It will be an experience for Sparta and our fans when AC Milan appear at Letna, and we are looking forward to going to the San Siro stadium. We've shown that Sparta are a team with a big heart and we'll definitely be aiming to do well in the tie."

Teplice also got a difficult draw, in the UEFA Cup. They will face last year's finalists Celtic, with the first leg to be held in Glasgow.

Top agent Paska under investigation for alleged threats

Police have begun an investigation into allegations that leading Czech football agent Pavel Paska used the threat of violence in an effort intimidate a rival. Paska, who represents among other Czech stars Tomas Rosicky and Milan Baros, strenuously denies the charge.

Czech Jiri Welsch on a roll as Boston win again in NBA

The only Czech in basketball's NBA, Jiri Welsch, is going from strength to strength at the moment: he scored 21 points in two games for the Boston Celtics at the weekend, and his continued run in the starting line-up has coincided with Boston winning five games in a row.

Hudler gets first NHL goal, could miss Under 20 World Championships

Upcoming Czech star Jiri Hudler of the Detroit Red Wings scored his goal in the NHL last week. However the 19-year-old wunderkind's success could spell bad news for the Czech Under 20 team: Hudler had been named in the squad for the upcoming Under 20 World Championships but it appears Detroit are now reluctant to let him go.