Sports News

Lukas Pesek, photo: CTK

In motorcycle racing at the Czech Grand Prix Lukas Pesek crashes out in the home stretch; the women's national football squad downs Iceland to keep World Cup hopes alive; Meduna suffers horrifying collapse in Turkey; Sparta closing in on league leaders Liberec; Jagr named Czech player of the year.

Lukas Pesek crashes out in Czech Grand Prix

Lukas Pesek,  photo: CTK
The weekend gave numerous motorcycle racing fans in the Czech Republic reason to cheer as the Czech Grand Prix got underway in Brno. With stars like Italy's Valentino Rossi, who came in 2nd in the MotoGP, and Capirossi, who won it, who could complain? Meanwhile, it could have been a perfect day for home favourite in the 125cc category Lukas Pesek, but in the end, it was a heartbreaker. He spilled out in the home stretch, putting him out of the race when he had a shot at the podium. He would have been the first Czech to finish on the home podium as the Grand Prix since 1971. In the end the 125cc was won by Spaniard Alvaro Bautista. Still, organisers can be more than satisfied: the Masaryk circuit at the weekend saw an amazing 159, 188 visitors. That is a brand-new record for the speedway.

Women's football World Cup qualifiers: Czechs beat Iceland

The women's national football squad has kept alive its chances of qualifying for the Women's World Cup after beating Iceland on Saturday. The World Cup is to take place in China in 2007. In the match on Saturday, the Czechs went ahead went ahead in just the second minute on a goal by Lucie Martinkova, but the games was soon tied by Iceland, who then scored a second, forcing the Czechs to fight for an eventual comeback. They did and they eventually pulled ahead 3:2. Iceland now have no chance of making the finals, while the Czech women's team still faces a difficult battle: three matches left to play, among them group leader Sweden, who they'll have to beat if they want to make it to the knock-out stages.

Horrific scene in Turkey as Meduna collapses during match

Men's football witnessed a horrifying scene on Saturday in the Turkish league, when Czech international Michal Meduna, who plays for Manisapor, collapsed during a match in the 82nd minute against Galatasary. The 25-year-old lost consciousness on the pitch shortly after complaining of feeling unwell to a fellow player: doctors and an ambulance crew were immediately summoned. First reports cited heart failure, although the player's agent stated that Meduna, losing consciousness, had begun to choke on his tongue. Full tests were later run in hospital. Aggressive heat during the game may have been a factor, but at least one player has commented that while hot, the temperature was not unusual by Turkish standards. Michal Meduna is expected to be released from hospital on Monday.

Sparta third, behind Mlada Boleslav, leaders Liberec

Liberec - Olomouc,  photo: CTK
In the Czech first division Sparta Prague had a good weekend downing Pribram 2:1 to pull within 4 points of league leaders and defending champions Liberec. They are now in third place. Brno is fourth, just behind on goal difference. Slavia, fifth, had little to cheer about, losing their second game in a row. They were shot down by Brno on a goal by Zelenka.

Jagr Czech Player of the Year for seventh time

Jaromir Jagr,  photo: CTK
In ice hockey, 34-year-old star forward Jaromir Jagr, who plays for the New York Rangers, has won the annual Golden Stick trophy for the best Czech ice hockey player for the seventh time. The award, decided by journalists and coaches, saw Jagr place 74 points ahead of runner-up Tomas Kaberle, who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs. David Vyborny, the Czech national team's captain at the World Cup this year, came third.