Swimmer carries Czech flag at Olympics opening ceremony

Swimmer Kvetoslav Svoboda was due to carry the Czech flag at the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games in Athens on Friday evening. The Czech Republic's team of some 140 athletes is the biggest the country has ever sent to the games. Earlier on Friday, President Vaclav Klaus officially opened the "Czech House" in the Olympic village.

On Saturday, the Czechs could be in the running for their first medal, when shooter Katerina Kurkova takes part in the women's 10-metre air rifle event. Kurkova became European champion in the discipline earlier this year, and two years ago was crowned world champion.

Meanwhile, the tennis draw in Athens has not been kind to the Czechs: Jiri Novak has drawn fourth-seed Tim Henman of Great Britain in the first round, while Barbora Strycova will play women's number one Justine Henin-Hardenne from Belgium.

Author: Ian Willoughby