Sports News

Stute Registana und Reiter Peter Gehm (Foto: CTK)

In Sports News: Czech tennis number one Jiri Novak wins the sixth ATP title of his career, the Japan Open; the Czech football team take the first points of their campaign to reach the 2006 World Cup; Tomas Jun scores a hat trick for the Under 21s and receives a debut call-up for the senior squad; Sparta and Ostrava are fined by UEFA; the famous Velka Pardubicka steeplechase is won for the second year in a row by German-trained Registana.

Jiri Novak wins Japan Open - sixth ATP title of his career

Jiri Novak, photo: CTK
Czech tennis number one Jiri Novak has won the sixth ATP title of his career, after beating Taylor Dent of the US 5-7 6-1 6-4 in the final of the Japan Open on Sunday. That after overcoming former world number one Leyton Hewitt in the semi-finals. It was the first hard-court title in eight years for Novak, who has generally been more successful on clay. Upbeat after winning almost $120,000, Jiri Novak said he hoped to achieve more before the end of the season.

"I've been playing good tennis for the last month and had a few close results. Last week I reached the semi-final in Shanghai, and now this win in Tokyo. I'd like to notch up a few more good results and pick up a few points, so I finish the season as high as possible in the rankings."

Winning start for Czech Republic in post-Nedved era

Jan Koller and Romanian goalie Bogdan Lobont, photo: CTK
The Czech Republic have notched up the first points of their campaign to reach the next football World Cup, with a 1:0 win against Romania in Prague on Saturday. Though it was Milan Baros who caused most problems for the Romanian defence, the only goal came from a Jan Koller penalty after man-of-the-match Martin Jiranek was brought down. It was the first game of the post-Pavel Nedved era, and - with other experienced players out injured - coach Karel Bruckner had to field a new-look Czech team.

"In the past our 'classic' tactic was to bring on Milan Baros as a sub after starting with five in midfield, with Poborsky and Smicer on the wings. Now things look totally different - and there has been a really clear change of style."

Senior call-up for Jun after Under 21s hat trick

On Friday the Czech Under 21s beat Romania 4:1, with Sparta striker Tomas Jun getting a hat trick. Now with Milan Baros suspended for Wednesday's away qualifier against Armenia, Jun has received a surprise debut call-up for the senior squad.

"I'm especially glad to be here taking part in preparations for the Armenia game. Just being called up was an honour in itself and if I make it on to the pitch it will be a bonus."

Sparta, Ostrava receive large fines from UEFA

Registana, photo:CTK
Sparta Prague football club have been fined 32,000 euros by UEFA after racist taunting of Lyon players during a recent Champions League game at Letna stadium. Banik Ostrava, meanwhile, have received a fine of 26,000 euros after failing to control crowd trouble during a UEFA Cup game against Middlesbrough.

Registana wins Velka Pardubicka steeplechase for second year, in record

time The 114th Velka Pardubicka steeplechase was won by Registana for the second year running on Sunday. The German-trained mare was one of only seven finishers from the 18-horse field, completing the tough four-and-a-quarter mile course in a record time of just over nine minutes fifteen seconds. Jockey Peter Gehm was riding his fourth Velka Pardubicka winner in a row. Czech horse Retriever was second, ridden by 52-year-old Josef Vana, while Radek Havelka came third on Decent Fellow.