The Czech Republic have advanced to the second phase of the World Ice Hockey Championships, after securing first place in their group with a 5:1 win over Germany in Prague on Wednesday night. The Czech football team, meanwhile, were beaten in a home friendly by Japan. And boxer Rudolf Kraj's dreams of a second Olympic medal have been dashed.
Czechs win first group stage after wearing down resilient German team
In the third period, however, the home side went to work, scoring four goals in just over ten minutes to send hockey fans around the Czech Republic into raptures. Here's what Czech coach Slavomir Lener had to say after the game.
"I think it was a really tough game, in a good manner. It was tough but a fair game, it was great. We said between the second and the third period that we believed in ourselves, that we can skate for 60 minutes and that the German team might have troubles. But what helped us a lot was the power play at the beginning of the third period."
The Czech Republic now face Austria, Switzerland and serious championship contenders Canada in the next round, with the first of those games against the Austrians on Friday night.
Second defeat in a row for Czech footballers
On Wednesday coach Karel Brueckner tried out an unsuccessful three-at-the-back formation, while at the other end of the pitch none of the forwards who got a run-out were impressive. Brueckner made nine substitutions during the game. One player who came off at half-time was striker Milan Baros; he was asked if the Czechs had underestimated Japan, who, by the way, are managed by Brazilian legend Zico.
"The Japanese team definitely came here with a lot of respect for us. I wouldn't say we underestimated them, we knew what qualities they had. It just didn't work out for us, though we were better in the second half. We were a bit unlucky not to score - it's just bad luck."
Boxer Kraj misses out on chance at second Olympic medal
The Czech boxer Rudolf Kraj will not be repeating his silver medal success at the Sydney Olympics in Athens: the 27-year-old boxer, who fights in the under-81 kilo category, failed in his last chance to qualify for this August's games. Kraj had remained an amateur in order to go to Athens, and is now expected to go professional.