In Sports News this Monday: Veselý dedicates Zurich silver to late coach Halva; Pedroza wins Brno MotoGP to deny Marquez while Abraham is best of the Czechs; Koubek has dream start at Plzeň, so why the boos?; and Berdych slips in rankings.
The Czech Republic took home four medals from the European Athletics Championships in Zurich: gold for Barbora Špotáková in the javelin, silver for Vítězslav Veselý in the javelin and bronze for Jan Kudlička in the pole vault and Anežka Drahotová in the 20km race walk. Veselý was the last of the four to reach the podium, after his throw of 83.16 metres was only bettered by Antti Ruuskanen of Finland in Sunday’s javelin final. Like Špotáková, Veselý is trained by javelin legend Jan Železný. However, after his second-place finish the 31-year-old played tribute to a previous mentor.
“I would like to symbolically dedicate this medal to my first javelin trainer Jarda Halva, who died this spring after a long illness. I think he provided me with the basics that I still draw on to this day. Otherwise, I’m really happy about everything. It wasn’t an easy competition. I don’t know what to say… thanks, Jarda.”
The biggest sports event of the year in the Czech Republic took place at the weekend, with more than a quarter of a million people attending the Czech MotoGP at Brno’s Automotodrom. Honda’s Dani Pedroza came first, denying team-mate Marc Marquez a record 11th win in a row. The best of the Czechs was Karel Abraham, who came 14th, also on a Honda. Abraham’s father co-owns the circuit but the rider has in the past not done well in Brno.
“I’m relatively satisfied with the race because I took two points. That isn’t perfect, but I think – given that it’s Brno – we have to regard it as a great result for me. I’m glad the weekend went as it did.”
Viktoria Plzeň boss Miroslav Koubek had a dream start at the weekend, with his team beating Hradec Králové 4:0 at home. With Sparta losing 1:0 to Ostrava and Slavia losing 2:1 to Teplice, that result meant Plzeň went top of the league with 10 points in four games. However despite his perfect beginning, a section of the home crowd chanted “Koubek out” – which perplexed the freshly appointed coach.
“There’s nothing I can do about it. I can only reply that my teams will be well prepared, put in good performances and if possible win. I don’t know what’s behind it. I have to admit I did notice it. But in general the atmosphere was positive and that’s the most important thing.”
The leading Czech men’s tennis player Tomáš Berdych has slipped from fifth to seventh in the ATP rankings after a second round exit in Cincinnati. Petra Kvitová holds on to fourth in the WTA rankings, despite being knocked out at the same stage in Ohio last week.