Sports News

Jaromir Jagr, photo: CTK

The indefatigable Navratilova wins again; Jaromir Jagr voted top Czech hockey player for a record sixth time; two Czech goals help Hearts to victory; Sparta suffer shock defeat as Liberec goes to the top of the Gambrinus Liga; Czech high-jump success in Zurich.

Navratilova wins again

At the age of 48 the Czech-born tennis legend Martina Navratilova has won her 175th doubles title at the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Alongside the German Anna-Lena Groenfeld, she beat the Spanish pair, Conchita Martinez and Virginia Ruano Pascual 2:1. Navratilova is the oldest ever doubles champion on the WTA circuit - and she also has 167 singles titles under her belt.

Jaromir Jagr voted top Czech player of last season

Jaromir Jagr, photo: CTK
There are no prizes for guessing who was the winner of this year's Golden Hockey Stick award, which is given every year to the Czech ice-hockey player, who sports journalists and experts think has had the best season. With his familiar broad grin, the boyish Jaromir Jagr won for a record sixth time. Last season he helped the Russian team Omsk to victory in the "Super Six" European champions' cup and he played a huge role in helping the Czechs to gold in the World Championship in Vienna - despite famously breaking his little finger. People from the industrial town of Kladno near Prague have particular reason to celebrate. The top four in this year's poll all started their careers with the Central Bohemian team.

When the NHL season gets under way again next month, Jagr will be heading back to the New York Rangers - where he was playing before last season's lock-out - as one of no less than five Czechs helping to revive the team's play-off chances.

Czechs help Hearts to the top of the Scottish Premier League

It is not just in ice hockey that Czechs are making their mark abroad - in football Czech players are making some major waves in the Scottish Premier League. Rudolf Skacel and Michal Pospisil both scored to give Hearts a 2:0 home win over Aberdeen. This now puts the team three points ahead in the league and in an interview for the daily Sport, Pospisil described the mood among Hearts fans as euphoric.

Shock defeat for Sparta in Czech league

There was a shock in the third round of football's Gambrinus Liga on Saturday, when reigning champions Sparta proved that they were far from unbeatable. Liberec, playing at home, crushed the Prague giants, with a 2:0 scoreline that could easily have ended up even more humiliating for the champions. The north Bohemians were clearly the more convincing team - Ivan Hodur fired Liberec in front on the hour and Milan Matula netted a superb second in the 90th minute when he turned in a good cross from the left. The victory was particularly sweet given that three of Liberec's star players from the second half of last season were playing in Sparta's colours. Unbeaten Liberec are now top of the league, followed by Pribram. Sparta have dropped to fifth.

It was left to Sparta's local rivals Slavia to salvage the remnants of Prague's pride. They recovered despite trailing 2:0 fifteen minutes before the final whistle to beat Jablonec 3:2.

Surprise Czech high jump success in Zurich

And finally, there was Czech success in the high jump on Friday at the Golden League meeting in Zurich. In pouring rain Svatoslav Ton jumped 228 centimetres, beating the world vice-champion, Cuba's Victor Moya, to second place. Ton had special reason to rejoice, after failing to reach the final in Helsinki. The other Czech hope in the high-jump, Jaroslav Baba came a disappointing seventh.