Sports News

Roman Sebrle, photo: CTK

In Sports News: Czech Roman Sebrle has beaten his main rival Tom Pappas of the US in a warm-up for the decathlon at the Olympics in Athens. At tennis's French Open, the last Czech in the competition, Denisa Chladkova, has been knocked out, while Martina Navratilova has ruled out appearing at Wimbledon after an unsuccessful singles return at Roland Garros. And in football, the Czech national team play two friendly matches this week as they continue preparations for Euro 2004.

Sebrle beats main rival Pappas in warm-up for Olympic decathlon

Roman Sebrle, photo: CTK
Some sportsmen and women seem to always do better at particular venues, and that is certainly the case with Czech decathlete Roman Serble, who on Sunday took gold at a meeting in Goetzis, Austria for a record fourth time. What's more, Sebrle notched up the second highest points tally of his career in Goetzis, where he had previously become the first person in the history of the decathlon to break the 9,000 points barrier. This time Roman Sebrle was 184 points short of his own record, but he was not complaining, saying he was 200 percent satisfied with his performance. He will also have been pleased to finish ahead of his main rival, Tom Pappas of the US, just two and a half months ahead of the Olympic Games in Athens.

Roman Sebrle, photo: CTK
Sebrle's Czech colleague Tomas Dvorak finished seventh in the decathlon at Goetzis, after suffering Achilles' heel problems on the second day of the event. Dvorak, a three-time world champion, said he would have pulled out except for the fact he needed to secure qualification for the Olympics.

Last Czech at French Open Denisa Chladkova knocked out in third round

It seems to have become an unfortunate tradition at Grand Slam events in recent times that no Czechs make it to the second week, and that is once again the case at the French Open, where the last remaining Czech, Denisa Chladkova, was knocked out on Saturday. Chladkova was beaten 6-3 7-6 in the third round by the sixth seed, Anastasia Myskina of Russia.

Navratilova rules out Wimbledon appearance after failed singles comeback

And Martina Navratilova has ruled out appearing at this year's Wimbledon, after being beaten soundly in her first Grand Slam singles game in a decade in the first round of the French Open. Navratilova, who is 47, lost to Gisela Duklo of Argentina, who was not even alive when the Czech-born legend twice became French Open champion. She is expected to retire after representing the United States at the Athens Olympics.

Capalini takes bronze, qualifies for Olympics in modern pentathlon

Libor Capalini, photo: CTK
One person who will be representing the Czech Republic at the Olympics is Libor Capalini, in the modern pentathlon. The former European champion came third in the sport's World Championships in Russia at the weekend to ensure himself a place in Athens.

Czechs training in Austrian Alps ahead of European Championships

Czech Republic's football team, photo: CTK
They may be at a training camp in the Austrian Alps, but the Czech Republic's football team are receiving huge coverage in the sports pages, just two weeks ahead of their opening game at the European Championships in Portugal. One of coach Karel Brueckner's biggest concerns is the fitness of experienced midfielder Vladimir Smicer, who has suffered one injury after another since starting last season brightly. If, as expected, Smicer remains fit, then the extra man in the squad, Miroslav Matusovic, will be sent home.

The Czech Republic's opening game at Euro 2004 is against Latvia, on June 15. The other two teams in Group D are Germany and the Netherlands. Before then Czech fans will get to see their heroes in friendlies against Bulgaria on Wednesday and Estonia next Saturday.