In Sports news this week: the Czech women’s tennis team beats Germany to reach the Fed Cup semi-finals; in football, Czechs will face title holders Spain in the next European 2012 championship qualifications; goalie Petr Čech contributes to Chelsea’s win over city rival Arsenal; and hockey star Jaromír Jágr returns from Russia fit for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Tennis: Czech Republic beats Germany to reach Fed Cup semi-finals
“It’s a great success and I value it as much as a tournament win. When you do so well in your first appearance, it gives a boost to your career. I was nervous but I really tried to get things under control, and I enjoyed the match very much.”
In the Fed Cup semi-finals, the Czech Republic will face Italy in April for a berth in the final.
Football: Czech Republic to face champions Spain in Euro 2012 qualifier
The Czech national football team will face current champions Spain as well as Scotland, Lithuania and Liechtenstein in Euro 2012 qualification. At Sunday’s draw in Warsaw, the Czech team was seeded in the second group based on UEFA national team coefficient rankings, and ended up in one of the five-member groups. Czech national team coach Michal Bílek had been hoping to avoid the Spaniards in the qualification, while the head of the Czech FA, Ivan Hašek, was not quite sure whether Sunday’s draw was good or bad news.
“There were worse groups than this. We are certainly glad that we are in a five-member group; on the other hand, we‘ll play currently the world’s best team, Spain, which will make it difficult for us. But it’s really difficult right now to say whether the draw was good or not. You know what happened last time, when people said the draw was great and we failed. So I’m realistic about it, and the decision will be made on the pitch.”
Chelsea’s Petr Čech stands firm in city derby against Arsenal
Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech, of Chelsea FC, performed some great saves in the city derby against Arsenal in UK’s Premier League in London on Sunday. In the first half, Čech successfully blocked a volley from striker Andrei Arshavin’s, and he saved a free kick by Francesco Fabregas after the break, helping his team to achieve a 2:0 win thanks to two early strikes by Didier Drogba. Chelsea now tops the premiership table, two points ahead of Manchester United.
Hockey star Jágr stops at home before heading to Vancouver
Star Czech hockey player Jaromír Jágr arrived in the Czech Republic on Monday morning from Russia for a few days’ rest before heading to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The forward for Russia’s Omsk came back amidst concerns about the state of his health, as he was pulled out of a game on Friday with the Russian press reporting a possible groin injury. Jaromír Jágr told reporters at Prague airport however that he had already recovered from what was only a minor stomach virus.
At Vancouver, the Czech Republic will face Slovakia on February 18, followed by Latvia two days later. The Czechs will then conclude the tournament’s group stage with a game against one of the strong favourites, Russia, on February 21.