In Sports News this Monday: Kvitová’s coach is confident over her chances going into Wimbeldon; slalom canoer Hilgertová reaches podium at record 46; Czech athletes fall out of elite group in European Athletic Team Championships; and Cheeky Chappie wins Czech Derby.
Leading the Czech charge at this year’s Wimbledon is Petra Kvitová, who won the famous tournament in 2011 and has reached at least the quarter-finals at the All England Club every year since then. Just before the 2014 Wimbledon began, her coach David Kotyza said he felt that Kvitová –seeded sixth – could go a long way once again.
“There are things she can be relatively pleased with, even though she hasn’t had the best of years. I see things optimistically. I’m not saying some other player won’t come along. But you can see that she likes it here, that she feels good, that it’s important to her, that everything’s fitting into place and that she’s going about things the right way. I think the conditions are in place under which she could be successful again.”
Kvitová’s first test at Wimbledon is against compatriot Andrea Hlaváčková, with their first round match set to take place on Monday afternoon, after the recording of our programme.
Slalom canoer Štěpánka Hilgertová has returned to the podium for the first time in four years – at the remarkable age of 46. The two-time Olympic champion finished third in the women’s K1 at a World Cup event at Prague’s Troja on Sunday to become the oldest water slalom medalist in history. Now Hilgertová is setting her sights on September’s World Championships in Maryland in the US.
The Czech Republic’s athletes did not do so well at the weekend. They finished 11th in the Super League, part of the European Athletic Team Championships, in Germany’s Braunschweig, and were relegated to a lower level in the competition. The Czechs needed to finish in the top nine to maintain their elite status and seemed to have done so after defeating the Swedes in the men’s 4x400m relay event. However, they were subsequently disqualified for an illegitimate handoff. The Czechs filed a protest but to no avail.
Horse-racing and Cheeky Chappie ridden by jockey Jiří Chaloupka won the Czech Derby at Prague’s Velká Chuchle course on Sunday. In the race for three-year-olds, considered the pinnacle of the Czech season, Cheeky Chappie just pipped favourite Honzik Chiper.
Sparta Prague were on Monday drawn to face either Levadia Tallinn of Estonia or La Forita from San Marino in the second qualifying round of football’s Champions League. The Czech title-winners will play the opening leg of that tie in Prague on either July 15 or 16, with the second leg set to take place a week later.