Sports News

Petra Kvitová, photo: CTK
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In Sports News this Monday: with Ivan Hašek stepping down as manager of the Czech international football team, his former assistant Michal Bílek is the bookies’ favourite to take over on the Czech bench; Slavia Prague’s goalkeeper is carried from the pitch by an ambulance after a clash with an opponent leaves him out cold for 10 minutes; Petra Kvitová is beaten in the final of tennis’s Linz Open; and decathlete Roman Šebrle says he wants to return to the Olympics – as a golfer.

Bílek bookies’ favourite to replace Hašek as Czech football manager

Michal Bílek, Ivan Hašek (right), photo: CTK
Immediately after the Czech Republic’s campaign to reach the 2010 World Cup limped to a conclusion with a 0:0 draw against Northern Ireland last Wednesday, Ivan Hašek announced he was stepping down as the team’s manager. Reaching South Africa next year had already looked a tall order when Hašek, who became president of the Czech football association in July, appointed himself coach for the last four games of the Czech Republic’s qualifying campaign. His successor on the bench is set to be announced on Tuesday, and Hašek says he already has somebody in the frame for the job.

“At this moment I have a candidate, and I’m hoping he accepts the post. We still need to negotiate. It will be clear soon. There’s a long road in front of us in terms of preparing for the qualifications for the next European Championship. But as soon as November we will have games that will be a preparation for that qualifying campaign.”

The Czech FA chief also said the new national team manager would be Czech, not a foreigner, and the bookies’ favourite is Hašek’s hitherto assistant on the Czech bench, Michal Bílek. Bílek’s biggest success to date has been winning the Czech league and cup double at the helm of Sparta Prague.

Slavia goalkeeper knocked out during win over Kladno

There were anxious moments on Sunday when Slavia Prague goalkeeper Deniss Romanovs was knocked out during a 2:0 away win over Kladno. The player lay on the pitch for 10 minutes without moving after colliding with an opponent, and had to be carried from the stadium in an ambulance. Fortunately, the Latvian suffered nothing worse than a bad head laceration, and has been released from hospital.

Slavia’s win helped them catch up on main rivals Sparta, who were held to a 1:1 draw at home to České Budějovice. Both big Prague clubs are on 19 points after 11 games. Teplice lead on 25 points, though their local rivals Jablonec can go top on 26 if they beat Plzeň at home on Monday evening, after the recording of this show.

Kvitová loses in final of Linz Open

Petra Kvitová, photo: CTK
The Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitová was beaten in the final of tennis’s Linz Open in Austria on Sunday, going down 3-6 4-6 to Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium. Despite losing, the 19-year-old has reasons to be cheerful: it was Kvitová’s second WTA final of the year after she took the title in Hobart in January, while in the semi-finals at Linz she beat a top 10 ranked player for the third time, namely Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

The leading Czech men’s tennis player Radek Štěpánek has climbed to 14th in the world rankings after reaching the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters. The 30-year-old was last in the top 15 over a year ago.

Šebrle wants to return to Olympics – as golfer

Athlete Roman Šebrle has achieved all there is to achieve in the decathlon; he has won gold at both the Olympics and the World Championships, and holds the world’s points record. But now, aged nearly 35, he is setting his sights on returning to the Olympics in a few years – as a golf player. Mladá fronta Dnes reported that Šebrle is hoping to represent the Czech Republic in the sport in 2016, or more likely in 2020, describing his aim as “deadly serious”. However, his ambition is not being taken seriously by people in the Czech golf world, with one interviewee telling the newspaper that Šebrle’s idea of becoming a top class golfer so late in life was “science fiction”.