Sports News

Kateřina Baďurová, foto: Josef Čech, CC 3.0 licence

In Sports News this week: pole vaulter Katerina Badurova is the first Czech to reach the finals at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka; two years after taking bronze in Helsinki, Vera Pospisilova-Cechlova fails to make it out of the heats; Nicole Vaidisova returns from illness just in time for the US Open; Slavia Prague are one step away from the Champions League after beating Ajax away in the first leg; and Czech international Jaroslav Plasil joins Spain's Osasuna.

Badurova into final but no repeat of 2005 success for Pospisilova-Cechlova

Katerina Badurova,  photo: Josef Čech,  CC 3.0 license
Pole vaulter Katerina Badurova, was the first of the Czech Republic's athletes to qualify for the finals at the World Athletics Championships in Japan's Osaka. The 24-year-old holds the Czech women's pole vault record and is hoping to break it with a new personal best in Tuesday's final.

Badurova's boyfriend Tomas Janku has also made it beyond the heats in his discipline, the high jump. In the final Janku will be up against another Czech high jumper, Jaroslav Baba.

But things haven't gone so well for some other fancied Czechs. Two years ago Vera Pospisilova-Cechlova was celebrating bronze in the discus at the last World Championships in Helsinki; this year she is on an early plane home, after failing to even make the final. The Czech long-jumper Denisa Scerbova also misses out; the 21-year-old was just one centimetre short of qualification.

Vaidisova back in action in time for US Open

As the US Open gets underway there is good news for Czech tennis fans, with Czech women's number one Nicole Vaidisova back in action after illness. Vaidisova contracted glandular fever after the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and has not played since. It hasn't been a great year for the 18-year-old, who also missed tournaments earlier in the season after sustaining a wrist injury.

Slavia hoping to capitalise on first-leg advantage in Champions League qualifier

Slavia Prague - Brno,  photo: CTK
All eyes will be on Slavia Prague this week, as the club attempts to reach football's Champions League. Slavia caused an upset by beating Ajax in Amsterdam in the first leg of their tie and Prague's Evzen Rosicky stadium is sold out for Wednesday's return leg, with Vladimir Smicer and co. hoping to make a bit of history by getting into the Champions League for the first time in the club's history.

Sparta Prague are also hoping to make it into the lucrative and prestigious competition, though they face an uphill climb to say the least, after losing 2:0 to Arsenal in Prague in the first leg.

Plasil joins Osasuna after seven years at Monaco

Jaroslav Plsil,  photo: CTK
The Czech international Jaroslav Plasil has signed with Osasuna in Spain's La Liga. The youthful looking midfielder spent seven years at the French club Monaco, and was part of the team that reached the final of the Champions League in 2004. Plasil, who is 25, has been capped 27 times by the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, Teplice striker Martin Fenin, who shone for the Czech Republic at the Under 20 World Cup, looks set to sign with Werder Bremen in Germany's Bundesliga.