Sports News

Katerina Neumannova, photo: CTK

In Sports News: Czech cross country skier Katerina Neumannova has an excellent weekend, finishing first and second in World Cup races at a meeting in Finland; Jiri Novak is named Czech tennis player of the year - for the sixth year in a row; Jaromir Jagr scores at hat-trick for Omsk in the Russian ice hockey league; the Czech women's football team fail in their attempt to reach the European Championships for the first time.

Very successful weekend for cross country skier Neumannova in Finland

Katerina Neumannova,  photo: CTK
The Finnish resort of Kuusamo proved a very happy hunting ground for leading Czech cross country skier Katerina Neumannova at the weekend. On Friday Neumannova won the 12th World Cup race of her career, when she finished the 10 km free less than two seconds ahead of her nearest rival. She then came second in the 10 km classic on Sunday to complete a most successful event. Here's the woman herself.

"I'm very pleasantly surprised by today's result. I'm really satisfied because I was very tired after Friday's race, although it wasn't just my problem - I think all of us were tired. I didn't think I'd do so well in the 'classic', so I am extremely glad of second place."

Katerina Neummanova wasn't the only Czech to do well in Kuusamo: ski-jumper Jakub Janda reached the podium for only the second time in his World Cup career, coming third with a jump of 137.5 metres.

Novak's mantelpiece heaving with sixth "Golden Canary"

Jiri Novak,  photo: CTK
Jiri Novak has for the sixth year in a row won the "Golden Canary" award for Czech tennis player of the year. In a season in which teenagers Tomas Berdych and Nicole Vaidisova made a big impression, the 29-year-old still took all but two of the 135 votes cast in the poll. Novak says 2004 was the second or third best season of his career.

Jagr scores hat-trick at sold-out Moscow arena

Jaromir Jagr's great start in the Russian ice hockey league has continued, with the Czech megastar scoring a hat-trick for Omsk in their 4:4 draw against CSKA Moscow on Saturday. And proving how big a draw Jagr is in Russia, it was the first time CSKA's arena had been sold out in several years.

Czech women footballers miss out on European Championships

The Czech women's football team have failed in their bid to reach the European Championships for the first time ever, after losing 3:0 to Italy in Caslav on Saturday; they lost the play-offs 5:1 on aggregate. The leading Czech women's player, Pavlina Scasna of Bayern Munich, had to sit out the second leg through suspension.

Sparta lucky to draw with Teplice after goal ruled out

Karel Poborsky from Sparta  (right) with Jiri Sabou from Teplice,  photo: CTK
The big game in the Czech league at the weekend was leaders Sparta Prague versus second-placed Teplice. The 0:0 draw was highly controversial, with an apparently legitimate goal by Teplice's Karel Rada denied by the referee. Meanwhile, Liberec - who are third - beat Ceske Budejovice 2:1.

Paper starts campaign calling on football association board to step down

Off the field - with the league rocked by a series of corruption scandals - the daily Sport has launched a petition campaign calling on the entire board of the Czech football association to resign. Signatories so far include personalities from within and outside the game.