Sports News

Katerina Neumannova, photo: CTK

In Sports News: as the Olympics draw near, cross country skier Katerina Neumannova wins her third World Cup race in a row; ski jumper Jakub Janda vows to quit ski flying, and denies German allegations that he cheats; footballer Tomas Repka rejoins Sparta Prague after eight years abroad; and most Czech tennis players go through on day one of the Australian Open.

Skier Neumannova wins third World Cup event in succession

Katerina Neumannova,  photo: CTK
With just three and a half weeks to go now until the Winter Olympics in Turin, one of the Czech Republic's biggest medal hopefuls, cross country skier Katerina Neumannova, is in very fine form indeed: on Saturday she came first in the 15 km free at Italy's Val di Fiemme, her third World Cup win in a row.

Neumannova's latest success came despite the fact she'd been taking antibiotics for a cold during the week. What's next for the Czech skier?

"I'm going to train in Sumava for three days, before I travel to Oberstorf in Germany for my final World Cup race. Then I go to Italy to prepare for Turin for three weeks."

Janda quits ski flying, denies allegations of cheating

Jakub Janda,  photo: CTK
Meanwhile, another Czech who'll be hoping to do well in Turin, Jakub Janda, didn't do too well at the weekend; the ski jumper finished seventh in a ski flying event in the Austrian resort of Kulm. Ski flying involves jumping from hills much higher than those used in the Olympics. Janda says he doesn't like it, and has vowed never to take part in the sport again.

Earlier Janda had reacted angrily to allegations from the manager of the German ski jumping team that he had illegal hinges in the heels of his boots. The Germans say that explains Janda's marked improvement in form this season, something the Czech denies vehemently.

Repka set to be biggest star in Czech first division after Sparta move

Tomas Repka ,  photo: CTK
They're calling it the football transfer of the year: former international Tomas Repka is set to be the biggest star in the Czech first division, after agreeing terms with Sparta Prague. The tough defender, now aged 32, left the club eight years ago and had spells at Italy's Fiorentina and West Ham United in the English Premier League.

Most Czechs through on day one of Australian Open

Tomas Berdych,  photo: CTK
The first tennis Grand Slam tournament of the year, the Australian Open, has just got underway in Melbourne. Of the eight Czechs in action so far, five made it through to the second round on day one, including the two seeded Czech men, Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych. Klara Koukalova - also seeded, along with Nicole Vaidisova - was among the three Czechs already knocked out in the first round.

Loprais quits Dakar Rally early due to injury

The famous Dakar Rally ended on Sunday, but it was already over for Karel Loprais in the truck category: the Czech six-time winner had to pull out towards the end of last week due to a rib injury. It was the 19th time Loprais has taken part in the famous event.

No charges likely over communist era doping

The office for the documentation of the crimes of communism says it has evidence that systematic doping of Czech athletes took place under communism. However, the office says it is unlikely any sports officials from that era will face criminal charges.