Sports News

Latvia - Czech Republic, photo: CTK

In Sports News this Monday: Czech footballers book spot at Euro 2016 with two qualifiers to go – Limberský praises Vrba’s Midas touch; Synek wins gold at World Rowing Championships after poor season; and Chinese firm buys Slavia Prague.

Czechs book Euro 2016 spot early

Latvia - Czech Republic, photo: CTK
The Czech Republic’s footballers have booked a place at the European Championship in France next year with two qualifying games to go. The Czechs and Iceland are both on 19 points at the top of Group A and can no longer be caught by third-placed Turkey. Pavel Vrba’s team secured a berth at Euro 2016 with a hard-fought 2:1 home victory over Kazakhstan on Thursday and an away win over Latvia by the same score-line on Sunday evening. The first of the Czechs’ two goals in the latter game came from David Limberský – who said few had fancied the team to achieve qualification so soon.

“Which of you would have bet on that? Nobody, right? To finish ahead of Turkey and the Netherlands two rounds from the end is unbelievable. Even though our performances weren’t always ideal and our play was a bit creaky our team work was strong. Two-thirds of the squad are from the Czech league, which is really great – it shows the high quality of the competition.”

Limberský previously played under coach Vrba at Viktoria Plzeň and was fulsome in his praise for the Czech manager.

“The boss is a child of fortune. He simply has the karma for it. Wherever he goes, he’s successful. That’s one of the reasons I’m glad to be in the national squad – because you’re almost always guaranteed to enjoy success with him. We appreciate that and we’re going to capitalise on it in future.”

Synek takes gold at Worlds after poor season

Ondřej Synek, photo: CTK
Ondřej Synek took gold in the men’s single sculls at the World Rowing Championships at Aiguebelette in France on Sunday. Though the Czech had triumphed in three of the previous four years, including in Amsterdam in 2014, few expected him to retain the title this time out after a season in which he failed to win once. His coach Milan Doleček Sr. explained how he and Synek had turned things around at the right moment.

“At the end of the day, I said we have to aim high. We trained thoroughly and things got better. We took out the old boat that he won on last year. Everything worked out. After a training camp in Italy we discovered an old centre on Slapy Dam where they cooked really well and looked after us.”

Chinese firm buys Slavia Prague

The company CEFC China Energy Company is buying a majority stake in one of the most famous Czech soccer clubs, Slavia Prague. China’s sixth largest company will control just under 60% percent of the shares in Slavia, with most of the rest belonging to Czech firm Fly Sport Investments.