Sports News

Usain Bolt, photo: CTK

In Sports News this week: Ostrava readies for showcase athletics event; 16,000 strong Varnsdorf wins promotion to top football league; ice hockey’s Ondřej Palát on verge of Stanley Cup; and Jaroslav Kulhavý wins world cup cross country event.

Usain Bolt says geared up for good time at Golden Spike

Usain Bolt,  photo: CTK
The Czech Republic’s premier athletics event of the year gets underway in Ostrava on Tuesday with the 54th Golden Spike meeting. The programme includes 12 world champions, 10 Olympic champions, and four record holders in the revamped stadium. Among the stars will be Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell in the 100 metres and countryman Usain Bolt in the 200 metres as well as local hero Pavel Maslák in the 300 metres.

Much of the media attention has been on Usain Bolt who is taking part in only his second 200 metres race so far this year with the world record holder seeking to register an improvement. This is what he had to say in the Ostrava press conference: “I’m in much better shape than in the first one. It’s been a month and a week since my last 200 metres. I’ve been working harder and my coach is happy with where I’m at in training right now. We have been doing a lot of curve running this week and he has been very happy with the progress that I have been making. He said it should be a fast time, I’m not saying what time he said. We’ll see what happens.”

Varnsdorf wins promotion to Synot League

FC Varnsdorf,  photo: CTK
In football, the small town of Varnsdorf has just made it to the big league. A goalless draw with top of the table Olomouc has secured the club runner up place in the Czech second division and the right to step up to the Synot League. Varnsdorf, however, do not have a suitable stadium for the big time and must first get that and other financial issues sorted out. The club can play at another stadium for the upcoming season but in the long run have to get their own ground upgraded. Olomouc had already booked its return to the top league.

Ondřej Palát helps Tampa Bay towards Stanley Cup final

Ondřej Palát  (left),  photo: CTK
In ice hockey’s NHL, Czech attacker Ondřej Palát has helped Tampa Bay get to the verge of the Stanley Cup finals. Palát set up Steve Stamkos for the second goal of Tampa’s 2:0 victory against New York Rangers. That leaves Tampa 3:2 up in the series and requiring just one more win to get to the finals. The next game is in front of the home crowd in Florida on Tuesday.

Jaroslav Kulhavý make comeback at home cross country event

Jaroslav Kulhavý,  photo: CTK
Mountain bike cyclist Jaroslav Kulhavý won the opening cross country world cup event of the season on home turf at Nové Město na Moravě. The Czech came in ahead of long time Swiss rival Nino Schurter. And after recent injury problems and after failing to be placed in the Czech event the previous two years, Kulhavý said he was surprised by his success: “ I did not expect it would be so easy and turn out so well. I have noticed in the last weeks that things were going well but until now I had not been able to compete with the world’s best. I almost forgot how to compete. I did not leave things till last and did not take any unnecessary risks. I would have been happy with a second place but told myself that I should go for it.”