In Sports News this week: Sweden’s Peter Hanson wins golf’s Czech Open; the Czech Under-21 baseball team wins the European title;in football, Sparta Prague lose to Žilina in the first leg of Champions League qualifier and fall to Plzeň in the top Czech division; and javelin champion Barbora Špotáková finishes second in the Diamond League event in Zurich but secures the series title.
“It was nothing near to just trying to win an event. I knew I had to win an event to get on the Ryder Cup team, and I think having that in the back of my mind was both a good and a bad thing because it’s so hard when you’re out there, trying not to think about it and trying to play golf.”
None of the Czech players made it through Friday’s cut; the best Czech professional, Viktor Skalle, finished 80th after scoring a double-bogey on the last hole on Friday.
In baseball, the Czech Republic’s Under-21 national team beat Russia 7:2 in the European Championship’s final in Brno on Sunday and secured the title. The Czechs went through the tournament unbeaten until Saturday, when they lost to Ukraine 6:2, but the home side had already secured a place in the finals. The home side could rely on great pitching and the team also showed great mental strength when in the finals they outplayed strong favourite, Russia. Pavel Chadim is the head coach of the Under 21 European Champions.
“Every tournament is very difficult. Italy and Russia were very tough opponents, they were the favourites. But we are very happy that we beat them; in the finals, we faced the best European pitcher, Russia’s Nikolai Lobanov, and we won. It’s a great success for the Czech Republic.”
“It was harder as I was injured but I kept my hopes up until the last moment. I really appreciate this a great deal; it’s a great award for me for performing steadily throughout the season. Many athletes prepare well for a few events and throw really far and then jump with joy like crazy, but it’s really hard to do well at every event But that’s what the title if for, and that’s why it’s so valuable.”
On Friday, Barbora Špotáková announced that she was ending her 11-year-long cooperation with coach Rudolf Černý, and that, as of next season, she would be trained by Jan Železný, the greatest athlete in the history of the discipline. Špotáková said she felt she was unable to further improve under her current coach, and hoped that training under Železný would provide a new impulse to her career.