In Sports News this Monday: the Czechs take their first medal at the Winter Olympics, gold for speed skater Martina Sáblíková in the 3000 metres – she now sets her sights on a second gold in the 5000 metres next week; and freestyle skier Nikola Sudová comes 16th in the moguls after gamely taking part in Vancouver despite a recent injury.
Skater Sáblíková becomes first Czech medallist in Vancouver with gold in 3000 metres
“I’ve waited for this the whole time and today I achieved what was expected of me. I’m really grateful for all those who supported me, to my trainer of course who led me through the race, and to everybody here in the arena who helped me right to the end.”
Coach Petr Novák has helped make Sáblíková a world beater in a country with no tradition whatsoever of speed skating, and indeed no speed skating course. He had this to say after her latest, and greatest, success.
Hopefully Novák and Sáblíková will be celebrating in that Czech flag again in the middle of next week, when the speed skater lines up for the second of her two events, the 5000 m, in which she is also the favourite.