Sports News

Zdeněk Štybar

In this week's Sports News: Dominik Hašek is named the greatest ever European ice hockey player; Czech Záhlavová-Strýcová is beaten in the Italiacom Open finals; Czech Olympic javelin hopeful performs in pre-Olympic tournament; police close the case of death of Rally Bohemia navigator and Czech wins third stage in Tour de Pologne cycle competition.

Magazine names Dominik Hašek greatest European player

Dominik Hašek,  photo: Dan4th Nicholas,  CC BY-SA 2.0
The prestigious Canadian publication "The Hockey News" has named retired ice-hockey goaltending legend Dominik Hašek as the greatest European player of all time. Fellow Czech Jaromír Jágr, who currently plays for the NHL’s Dallas Stars was ranked third on the list. From 1993 to 2001, Hašek, now 47, won six Vezina Trophies, an award presented annually to the best NHL goaltender. In 1998, chants of “Hašek na hrad!” or “Hašek to the Castle!” were heard in Prague as the legendary player helped secure the country’s first ever Olympic gold medal in ice hockey. Hašek is no stranger to out of this world honours: in 2003, the asteroid “8217 Dominikhašek” was named after him and is currently orbiting the Sun somewhere between Mars and Jupiter.

Záhlavová-Strýcová beaten in Italiacom Open

Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová,  photo: Christian Mesiano,  Creative Commons 2.0
26-year-old Czech tennis player Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová was defeated by the Italian number 1 seed Sara Errani in the finals of the Italiacom Open on Sunday. Errani, a runner-up in this year’s French Open, cruised past her opponent in a mere 75 minutes with a comfortable 6-1, 6-3 straight sets win. However, the Czech player did not leave the tournament empty handed - a day earlier on Saturday, Záhlavová-Strýcová and Czech teammate Renata Voráčová won the doubles competition beating the Croatian Darija Jurak and Hungarian Katalin Katalin Marosi 7-6, 6-4.

Czech Olympic javelin hopeful in pre-Olympic tournament

2008 Beijing Olympic gold medal winner Barbora Špotáková looked in fine form at the rain-drenched Samsung Diamond League athletics tournament over the weekend. The competition, held in London’s Crystal Palace, saw the javelin thrower Špotáková come in second place with a throw of 64.19 metres. She was topped by Britain’s Goldie Sayers, who achieved a throw of 66.17 metres. After the tournament, Špotáková said that she was happy with the result and also glad to allay fears that she may not be fully fit. But the player will have to beat her Diamond League score by several metres if she is to stand a chance at gold medal glory at London 2012.

Police close case of death of Rally Bohemia navigator

Czech police have closed the case into the death of Bohuslav Ceplecha, navigator to rally driver Martin Semerád at this year’s Rally Bohemia competition. Ceplecha was killed on Saturday after teammate Semerád, riding a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX, crashed into a tree during the third speed test stage. The driver suffered only a broken clavicle and other minor injuries, while efforts at the scene to revive his passenger proved futile. The competition was subsequently cancelled in light of the tragedy, while Semerád continues to recover in hospital in the city of Liberec. Police investigating the accident have now stated that the matter is closed as far as they are concerned, noting that no untoward circumstances were responsible and that in such a sport, regular traffic rules simply do not apply.

Czech wins stage in Tour de Pologne

Czech cyclist Zdeněk Štybar cruised to victory in the third stage of the Tour de Pologne, or Tour of Poland road bicycle racing competition last Thursday. After almost 200km of racing, the final kilometre proved to be the toughest, with competitors riding on cobbled streets. Following the win, Štybar noted that during the third stage, the route crossed the southern Polish border into his native Czech Republic around the town of Cieszyn, adding that the warmth of the Czech onlookers helped power him to victory. Overall, the tour is more than 1,200 km long spanning seven days between July 10 and 16.