Sports News

Gabriela Soukalová, photo: CTK

In Sports News: Gabriela Soukalová extends World Cup lead; top Czech seeds in smooth start to Australian Open; Czechs keep World Cup hopes alive although Filip Jícha still sidelined; and in ice hockey Liberec lead narrowed at top of Extraliga.

Gabriela Soukalová triumphs again in mass start

Gabriela Soukalová,  photo: CTK
In the women’s biathlon, Gabriela Soukalová won the mass start at Ruhpolding, Germany, and has consolidated her first place in the Wold Cup competition. With the help of a 100 percent success rate on the rifle range, the Czech finished around 14 seconds ahead of second placed Franziska Hildebrand. At the half way stage in the world cup competition, Soukalová now has 611 points, a 73 point advantage over her nearest rival Marie Dorin-Habert.

Tomáš Berdych and Petra Kvitová breeze through Australian Open first round

Tomáš Berdych,  photo: CTK
In tennis, the main Czech hopes in the first Grand Slam event of the season, the Australian Open, Tomáš Berdych and Petra Kvitová are both through to the second round. Both of the Czechs are seeded sixth and both overcame their first round opponents in straight sets. In the women’s singles, Lucie Hradecká and Klára Koukalová both tumbled at the first round.

Victory over Turkey keeps handball World Cup hopes alive

Czech Republic - Turkey,  photo: CTK
Czech men’s handball has been going through difficult times recently. But a glimmer of hope has come with the Czech team keeping alive their qualification chances for the world championships. The Czechs made their lives difficult with an away loss to Turkey. And that meant they needed to win by a least four goals at home. That target looked unlikely at the end of the first half with the Czechs winning by just one point. The difference came in the second with the arrival of goalkeeper Petr Štochl and the Czechs eventually ran out winners by 34 points to 28. They now face a play off in June for a world championship berth in 2017 with the opponent to be known at the end of the month.

Filip Jícha still likely to be sidelined for June play offs

Filip Jícha,  photo: Steindy,  CC BY-SA 3.0
Staying with handball, Czech star Filip Jícha watched Saturday’s game against Turkey from the sidelines. The Barcelona player is still recovering from a pelvis operation undertaken in November. He is still far from being capable of undergoing normal training and looks doubtful for the playoff in June. Coach Daniel Kubeš says if anything, Jícha’s absence is being felt more in defence than attack.

Liberec extraliga lead cut after Zlín defeat

Zlín - Liberec,  photo: CTK
In the Czech ice hockey extraliga, the far away leaders Liberec suffered a rare defeat when they travelled to Zlín. The home team triumphed 2:1 largely thanks to an outstanding performance by goal tender Kašík. At the other end of the table, Karlovy Vary finally came of the bottom with a 4:3 win against Litvínov, which is now propping up the rest of the league. In spite of the defeat, Liberec, on 82 points, still have a 13 point advantage over second placed Sparta Prague.