Pavel Nedved, the Czech international football captain, has been named the Czech Sportsman of the Year, the first footballer to ever win the award. Cross country skier Katerina Neumannova has made a remarkable comeback after having a baby, winning a World Cup race in Austria. And the Czech ice hockey team impressed at the Baltic Cup in Moscow, where they came second.
Pavel Nedved first footballer ever to become Czech Sportsman of the Year
"The main reason we play football is for the fans, to fill stadiums, that's why this award means so much to me. I think the year went very well for the Czech national team, and for me personally at Juventus...I guess I'm enjoying my best years at the moment."
Second in the Sportsman of the Year awards was skier Martin Koukal, who shot to fame this year by taking gold in the 50 kilometres at the Cross Country World Championships. He was followed by ice hockey star Milan Hejduk, who was the top scorer in the NHL's regular season. Fourth was Roman Sebrle, silver medallist in the decathlon at the World Athletics Championships. He was followed by Stepanka Hilgertova: the two-time Olympic water slalom champion this year took two gold medals at her sport's world championships. Dana Zatopkova - who won gold in the javelin at the 1952 Olympics - was presented with a special "legends of Czech sport" award, which is named after her late, great husband, long-distance runner Emil Zatopek.
Skier Neumannova makes brilliant comeback with World Cup win
"The end was pretty tough but I kept going, I could feel Shevchenko of Ukraine on my heels. It feels great to have won, though it's a bit different than before, I feel a bit 'above things'. I hope I can keep it up in other races."
Impressive Czech hockey team come second in Baltic Cup
The Czech Republic have come second in ice hockey's Baltic Cup in Moscow. The highlight of the tournament for the Czechs was a comprehensive 5:1 win over eventual winners Finland. Throughout the tournament Slavomir Lener's team played well; encouraging news ahead of the forthcoming World Championships, which are of course being held in the Czech Republic. By the way, among the Czech players was Petr Koukal, brother of the above-mentioned skiing star Martin Koukal.