Sports News


In Sports News: in a fantastic weekend for Czech skiing, ski jumper Jakub Janda and cross country great Katerina Neumannova both win in Finland; after years of domination by Jiri Novak, this year's Czech tennis player of the year award goes to rising star Tomas Berdych; Slovan Liberec are now five points clear in the football league; and Bohemians celebrate anniversary while Cech sings for Chelsea!

Janda, Neumannova on top of the world in skiing after great weekend in Finland

Jakub Janda,  photo: CTK
The leading Czech ski jumper Jakub Janda has made an absolutely brilliant start to the season: Janda took first place in a World Cup event in Finland's Kuusamo on Saturday after jumping 140.5m and receiving an impressive 19.5 points from the judges. But the Czech ski jumper couldn't celebrate his success immediately - he had to take part in another event soon afterwards.

"I didn't need to make myself relax...I knew I had another competition in front of me so I went to my hotel to lie down for a short while. Two competitions in a day really is a lot - it's not possible to concentrate on both."

Katerina Neumannova,  photo: CTK
Jakub Janda came seventh in that second competition. He won the first two World Cup events of his career last season, after hooking up with a new trainer.

Kuusamo was certainly a happy hunting ground for Czechs at the weekend: Czech cross country skier Katerina Neumannova notched up the 14th World Cup win of her career there on Sunday in the 10km freestyle.

"At the start of the race I was afraid I wouldn't get into the right tempo, but I calmed down when I saw the clock. Then I pulled away from the pack and I must say I was happy with my performance, that I had that much energy. My stamina is good, maybe better than last year, but it still needs a bit extra."

After long domination by Novak, Berdych wins tennis player of year award

Tomas Berdych,  photo: CTK
There has been a changing of the guard in Czech tennis: after Jiri Novak took the "Golden Canary" for Czech player of the year six years in a row, on Saturday the prize went to 20-year-old Tomas Berdych; his win in the Paris Masters last month was the biggest Czech tennis success in many a long year. Women's tennis player of the year? Who else but Nicole Vaidisova - the 16-year-old notched up three WTA titles in 2005.

Slovan Liberec five points clear in football league after win at Most

Slovan Liberec vs Most,  photo: CTK
There are still two weekends of the Czech football league before the winter break, but it looks like Slovan Liberec will have something to celebrate this Christmas: they are a full five points clear of the pack after beating Most 2:1 on Saturday. Teplice are second after drawing 0:0 with Jablonec, while Slavia Prague are third after getting the same result against Blsany. Slavia can reach the knock-out stage of the UEFA Cup on Wednesday if they beat Monaco in Prague.

Sparta lose again, Poborsky unlikely to return in New Year

Last season's champions Sparta Prague continue to wallow in the bottom half of the table after losing 3:2 to Zlin on Saturday. Sparta are said to be interested in making a number of signings in the January transfer window. Meanwhile, it appears unlikely that Karel Poborsky will return to Letna in the New Year, after being kicked out a couple of months ago.

Bohemians celebrate 100th anniversary, only months after bankruptcy

Antonin Panenka,  photo: CTK
Bohemians football club celebrated their 100th anniversary on Saturday with an exhibition game featuring club legends such as the great Antonin Panenka. The celebrations were all the warmer for the fact the club went bankrupt at the start of the year, before being revived by a supporters trust. Long may the Klokani go 'do toho'.

Cech covers r'n'b classic on Chelsea covers album

Czech international goalkeeper Petr Cech has recorded a song for an album by his English Premiership club Chelsea. Cech chose - perhaps appropriately - I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly.