Sports News

Katerina Neumannova, photo: CTK

In Sports News: it was a successful weekend for Czech skiing, with first place for Katerina Neumannova and third for the men's relay team at a meeting in Sweden; Sparta Prague lead the domestic football league into the winter break, despite conceding their first league goal in almost 800 minutes; Aston Villa's manager threatens Czech striker Milan Baros with the boot: and Jaromir Jagr has scored his 600th NHL goal.

Great win for Neumannova in Sweden while men's relay team finish third

Katerina Neumannova  (center),  photo: CTK
After a good weekend for Czech skiing, most of the headlines have gone to Katerina Neumannova, who won the 17th cross country World Cup race of her career in Sweden's Gallivare on Saturday. And the Olympic champion won the 10 km freestyle most convincingly, finishing a full 25 seconds in front of her nearest rival. As Neumannova said on the line from Lapland, she felt comfortably ahead some way from the finish line.

"Two kilometers from the end I knew my lead was so big that it was practically impossible for me to lose it. And I knew in any case I had more energy in reserve. So I was quite relaxed heading for the finish line...though that isn't to say it didn't take a lot out of me - I'm tired now."

Katerina Neummanova, who is now 33 and plans to retire at the end of this season.

Neumannova also took part in the women's relay in Gallivare, with the Czech women's team - also featuring Erbenova, Rajdlova and Janeckova - finishing fourth.

The country's men - Koukal, Bauer, Magal and Sperl - did one better; they reached the podium with third place. The first of the four Czechs in action was Martin Koukal.

"Luckily I managed to stay just 10 seconds off the pace, which was no problem for Lukas Bauer, who's in such great form at the moment. I didn't see much of Jirka Magal, who was third. Milan Sperl was last and he put in a great performance against the Russian Olympic champion no problem - we came third."

And Lukas Bauer also did well in the men's 15 km freestyle, finishing fourth.

Sparta lead Czech football league as winter break begins

Sparta Prague : Most,  photo: CTK
Sparta Prague go into the winter break as leaders of the Czech football league, despite being held to a 1:1 draw away to Most on Sunday. As well as dropping two points, Sparta also lost their impressive clean-sheet record: it was the first time they had conceded in 779 minutes. Second- and third-placed Slovan Liberec and Mlada Boleslav faced each other after the Sparta game, and either could have gone top. But a 1:1 draw meant the top three remained unchanged.

Pribram players show support for remanded club boss Starka

Jaroslav Starka,  photo: CTK
Marila Pribram's players expressed support for club owner Jaroslav Starka, who was arrested last week on charges of kidnapping and causing death. After their 2:0 defeat at Brno the team revealed t-shirts reading "Jardo, jsme se tebou" ("Jarda, we're with you").

Out of sorts Baros faces ultimatum at Villa

Milan Baros,  photo: CTK
Milan Baros may have scored in the Czech Republic's 1:1 draw with Denmark in a friendly in Prague last week, but he is under some pressure at club Aston Villa. Coach Martin O'Neill has indicated he may let the Czech striker go in the January transfer window, if his form does not improve.

Jagr scores goal number 600 in NHL

The great Czech forward Jaromir Jagr has scored his 600th goal in the NHL. Jagr netted the landmark goal - along with two assists - in his New York Rangers' 4:1 win over Tampa on Sunday.