Sports News

Miroslava Knapkova, photo: CTK

In Sports News: the Czech Republic take two medals at the World Rowing Championships in Eton, though there is disappointment for the men's quadruple sculls team; the four Czech teams in football's UEFA Cup face a tough draw, though Slavia boss Karel Jarolim insists they will do their all to overcome Spurts; good news for the national team - Petr Cech is back ahead of two Euro 2008 qualifiers: and ski-jumper Jakub Janda settles a dispute with the Czech Skiing Union.

Mixed time for Czech rowers at world championships

Miroslava Knapkova,  photo: CTK
The Czech Republic's rowers had a mixed time at the World Rowing Championships, which reached a climax on Sunday in the English town of Eton. There were good results for the Czechs on Saturday, with Miroslava Knapkova taking silver in the women's single scull and Ondrej Synek coming third in the men's category. And here is Ondrej Synek.

"I'm satisfied, because after my results so far this season I didn't expect this result. I was hoping to make the final here at least...and the fact I took bronze is a really nice end to my season. Everyone who started today's race wanted to win - but two of them were faster than me..."

While Hynek's success may have been a pleasant surprise, the performance of the Czech team in the men's quadruple sculls on Sunday was a big disappointment for Czech rowing. The team of Jirka, Dolecek, Chalupa and Karas - winners at this year's World Cup - could only manage fifth place in front of an estimated 70,000 fans at Eton.

Tough UEFA Cup draw for Czech clubs

While there may be no Czech football clubs in this season's Champions League, there are four in the UEFA Cup. And last week's draw was not kind to them. Sparta Prague drew Scotland's Hearts, Mlada Boleslav face Olympic Marseille, Liberec play Red Star Belgrade and Slavia Prague face Tottenham Hotspur. Slavia's draw is perhaps the toughest, and manager Karel Jarolim knows they will face an uphill battle.

"Of all the possibilities we couldn't have gotten a harder opponent. But of course we aren't going to give up in advance...I won't judge it in terms of what percent chance we have of winning, although there's no doubt that Spurs are the favourites. But we'll do everything we can to make sure we make it into the group stage."

Mlada Boleslav head league after beating Sparta

Slavia were impressive in the Czech league at the weekend, beating Olomouc 3:0. Slavia are now fourth. Liberec were knocked off top spot after a 0:0 draw with Brno. They have been replaced as league leaders by Mlada Boleslav, who overcame Sparta Prague, missing a penalty but still managing to win 3:0. That defeat has once again prompted questions about Stanislav Griga's future as Sparta manager.

International team gather for Euro qualifiers against Wales, Slovakia

The Czech football team have been gathering in Prague on Monday ahead of the first two games of their qualifying campaign for the 2008 European Championships. Yes, it seems like the Word Cup has just ended but the Czechs are already looking forward to their next big international competition. Their campaign gets under way against Wales in Teplice on Saturday; that match is followed by a trip to Bratislava next Wednesday for what should be an enthralling clash with Slovakia.

While Milan Baros and Vladimir Smicer remain injured and will miss those games, the very good news for Czech fans is that Petr Cech is back. After undergoing surgery on both shoulders after the World Cup, the star goalkeeper put in a man-of-the-match performance for Chelsea on his return on Sunday.

Janda to continue jumping for Czech Republic

The Czech ski-jumper Jakub Janda is due to sign a new contract with the Czech Skiing Union after resolving a long-running dispute over advertising revenues. At one point there was a threat that Janda might compete for another country.