Czech news in brief for May 19: Sunday's top headlines

Czech hockey team tops Great Britain in World Cup, Thousands take part in annual hike from Prague to Prčice, and more Sunday headlines. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 19.05.2024 08:56:00 (updated on 19.05.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

Politics ANO party continues to lead election polls

A recent Kantar CZ survey for Czech Television reveals that the opposition ANO party would win the parliamentary elections with 32 percent of the vote. The ruling ODS would trail with 15.5 percent. If the governing SPOLU coalition of ODS, KDU-ČSL, and TOP 09 ran together, they would secure 22.5 percent. Separately, KDU-ČSL wouldn't even enter parliament, while TOP 09 would be at the minimum threshold. The Pirates, SPD, and STAN parties would receive 11 percent, 9 percent, and 7.5 percent of the vote, respectively.

Sports Fans flock to hockey World Cup at record pace

Over half a million fans have flocked to the Ice Hockey World Championships in Prague and Ostrava over its first nine days, signaling a potential record-breaking event. The tournament, expected to surpass the 2015 attendance record, has seen an average of over 12,000 spectators per match, with many matches sold out. Petr Bříza, president of the Prague organizing committee, expressed satisfaction with the tournament's progress, anticipating a potential total of 800,000 attendees by the final.

History Terezín observes anniversary of end of WWII

At the National Cemetery in Terezín today, Czech MP Markéta Pekarová Adamová emphasized the moral obligation to remember the atrocities of the Holocaust. She urged consistent opposition to historical distortion or denial, stating that forgetting the victims equates to a second murder. The commemoration, attended by politicians and survivors like Dita Krausová, aimed to preserve the memory of those who suffered unimaginably. Wreaths were laid in honor of the 79th anniversary of the end of WWII.

Weather Strong storms forecast for most of Czechia today

Thunderstorms with hail and heavy rain are forecasted across most of the Czech Republic this afternoon and evening, per the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. While storms will be sporadic and localized, the warning covers the entire country, except for parts of South Moravia, southeast Vysočina, and the southwest Zlín Region. Hailstones up to two centimeters in size are expected, along with strong winds.

Sports Czech canoeist Satková qualifies for Olympics

Gabriela Satková has emerged as the sole Czech female canoeist to secure a spot in the finals of the European Water Slalom Championship in Ljubljana, clinching her ticket to the Paris Olympics. Meanwhile, Václav Chaloupka and Jiří Prskavec advanced to the finals among male canoeists. Lukáš Rohan, the silver medalist from the Tokyo Olympics, failed to qualify and will await the final results to determine his fate.

Economy Czech National Bank investing heavily in gold

In the first quarter of 2024, the Czech Republic ranked fifth globally in gold purchases, acquiring five tons, as reported by the Czech National Bank. Central banks worldwide set a new record by purchasing 290 tons of gold, indicating a trend of increased demand. Analyst Pavel Ryba noted central banks' motives for diversifying foreign exchange reserves and hedging against geopolitical risks, anticipating a potential rise in gold prices.

Sports Czech hockey team tops Great Britain in World Cup

The Czech hockey team beat Great Britain 4-1 in the World Championship in Prague on Saturday evening, securing the top spot in Group A. Captain Roman Červenka had four assists, leading the team's scoring with eight points in the tournament. Lukáš Sedlák added two goals and one assist. The Czech team will next face Canada in their final group match on Tuesday before advancing to the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Recreation Thousands take part in hike from Prague to Prčice

The 57th annual long-distance hike from Prague to Prčice took place on Saturday with 22,110 participants, 350 more than last year. Over one thousand hikers chose the longest 70-kilometer route, with the first finishing before noon, according to organizer spokesperson Dana Horáková. The event featured 21 different routes, with the 30-kilometer trail attracting over five thousand hikers and the children’s trail drawing around 3,500 participants.

Sports Sparta Prague clinches Czech football league title

Sparta Prague secured the Czech football league championship with a decisive 5-0 victory over Mladá Boleslav on Saturday, giving the team an four-point league lead ahead of the final round and guaranteeing them the top spot. This marks Sparta's first successful title defense since 2001 under Danish coach Brian Priske. Slavia Prague, victorious over Slovácko 2-1, will finish second, while Viktoria Pilsen, drawing with Baník Ostrava, is set to finish third. Pavel Šulc leads the league in scoring with 18 goals.

Travel Germans criticize rail connection with Czechia

At their congress in Augsburg on Saturday, Sudeten Germans (SL) criticized the inadequate transport connection between Bavaria and Czechia. Leader Bernd Posselt highlighted the neglect by German federal governments, noting that while the Strasbourg-Paris train covers 440 kilometers in under two hours, the 410-kilometer journey from Prague to Munich takes about six hours. Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder echoed the call for a Central European unification transport program and faster train connections.


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Sports Czech runner breaks 50-year-old steeplechase record

Tomáš Habarta broke the 52-year-old Czech record in the 3000-meter steeplechase, running it in 8:22.68 at the World Athletics Continental Tour event in Chorzów, Poland on Saturday. The previous record of 8:23.8 was set by Dušan Moravčík in September of 1972. The 20-year-old Habarta also qualified for the European Championship in Rome. Habarta finished fifth in Chorzów, with Ethiopia’s Hailemariyam Amare winning in 8:15.61.

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