Weekend headlines: Czech doubles team defends title at Australian Open

Plus: Czechs abroad vote overwhelmingly in favor of Pavel, Czech officials condemn attack in Jerusalem, and more weekend headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 28.01.2023 09:56:00 (updated on 30.01.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Sports Czech tennis stars defend doubles title at Australian Open

The Czech Republic's top-ranked doubles pairing of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková defeated Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 this morning to defend their title at the Australian Open. The pair have now won 24 straight doubles matches at Grand Slam tennis tournaments following titles at Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

The victory marks the seventh doubles Grand Slam title for both Krejčíková and Siniaková, two behind Helena Suková and five behind Jana Novotná on the all-time Czech leaderboard. The pair could have competed to sweep the Grand Slam last year, but had to drop out of the French Open after Krejčíková tested positive for coronavirus; they previously won the French Open in 2021.

Election Czechs abroad vote overwhelmingly in favor of Pavel

President-elect Petr Pavel was the overwhelming favorite among Czechs voting abroad in this years election, receiving a whopping 95.2 percent of the vote from those voting at Czech embassies and foreign missions. Pavel received 21,835 votes from Czechs abroad while Babiš received only 1,097 for 4.8 percent of the vote.

Voter turnout among Czechs abroad was 80.3 percent according to the Czech Statistical Office, more than 10 percent higher than voter turnout within the country. The highest number of votes from Czechs abroad came from Germany, where more than 3,000 people voted in the 2023 Czech presidential election.

Sports US skier Mikaela Shiffrin wins World Cup slalom in Špindlerův Mlýn

American skier Mikaela Shiffrin won her 85th World Cup race at the slalom in Špindlerův Mlýn yesterday, putting her one win behind Sweden's Ingemar Stenmark for the all-time record. Shiffrin has a special connection to the Czech ski resort: her very first World Cup was at Špindlerův Mlýn in 2011, at the age of 15.

"I have a lot of memories [in Špindlerův Mlýn]," Shiffrin, who also won the slalom at the Czech resort in 2019, told reporters after her victory. "We don't race here every year but this was my first World Cup race, and I think it was four years ago the last time we were here and that was also an amazing race for me."

Election Outgoing president Zeman congratulates Pavel on Victory

Outgoing Czech president Miloš Zeman congratulated Petr Pavel on his election victory last evening on Twitter through his spokesperson Jiří Ovčáček. Zeman, who had shown support for Pavel's opponent Andrej Babiš, wrote that he wished Pavel would be a good president of the Czech Republic in a short statement.

Other Czech leaders including Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil, Constitutional Court President Pavel Rychetský, and presidential candidate Danuše Nerudová also congratulated Pavel after his victory. "In the words of former president Václav Havel, I consider this result a victory of love and truth over lies and hatred," said Rychetský.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Election Petr Pavel wins 2023 Czech presidential election

With more than 90 percent of polling stations now reporting, local media channels are calling the 2023 Czech presidential election. Read our full story here.

Retired NATO general Petr Pavel has defeated opponent Andrej Babiš with 58 percent of the vote to become the Czech Republic's next president. Pavel will assume office on March 8, replacing outgoing president Miloš Zeman.

Zoo Prague Zoo's youngest elephant Amalee passes away

Amalee, a two-year-old elephant born at Prague Zoo on May 9, 2020, has died from elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus, the zoo reported on Friday. The zoo has asked for understanding as they withhold further comment until more detailed information is revealed later next week.

"Our youngest elephant Amalee, born on May 9, 2020, succumbed to a disease known as elephant herpes," Prague Zoo wrote on Facebook. "This affects baby elephants in particular and tends to progress very quickly, and cannot be stopped even with immediate treatment. Unfortunately, this was the case with Amalee. It's devastating news for all of us, and especially for the breeders."

Vote Final day of Czech presidential election begins

The second and final day of the runoff election for Czech president between former PM Andrej Babiš and retired NATO general Petr Pavel is now underway. Polls opened this morning from 8:00 a.m. and will close at 2:00 p.m., with the election results expected shortly after. The final tally will be posted on the official election website.

The winner of today's election will replace outgoing Czech President Miloš Zeman in early March. Zeman served the maximum two terms and a total of ten years in office as Czech president. Among the Czech Republic's population of 10.5 million people, about 8.25 million are eligible to vote. Voter turnout in the first round of the election was around 70 percent.

SKI Czech police close entrance to ski resort Špindlerův Mlýn

As of 8:00 a.m. this morning, Czech police have restricted access to popular ski destination Špindlerův Mlýn after heavy interest in the area led to parking lots filling up and vehicles parking on the streets. The World Cup in women's alpine skiing is taking place at Špindlerův Mlýn this weekend.

Only visitors with a previously-issued permit are currently allowed to enter Špindlerův Mlýn; others must now park in nearby Vrchlabí, where a free shuttle will take them to the ski resort. The restriction is expected to last through this weekend as the area sees a large influx of visitors.

International Czech president condemns attack in Jerusalem

Czech President Miloš Zeman, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, and other officials have condemned the deadly attack in Jerusalem on Friday, as a gunman killed seven people in a Jewish synagogue. The attack occurred on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

"I am shattered by such cruelty, especially on the day when the whole world is commemorating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day," Zeman wrote in an open letter to Israeli President Isaac Herzog published to Twitter by his spokesperson Jiří Ovčáček. "We are all shocked by this brutal act of terrorism and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims of this violence," writes Fiala.

Prague Transit Tram service from Klárov to Újezd halted through March

Tram service in central Prague between Klárov and Újezd stops in Malá Strana has been halted as of today as repairs to the busy line are now underway. Trams 12, 15, 20, 22, 23, historic line 42, and night tram 97 will all run detour routes through the end of March, when work is expected to be completed.

During the day, a replacement bus (X22) will be made available between the Újezd ​and Malostranské náměstí stops in Malá Strana. A new tram line 32 will also be introduced as an alternative to bring passengers from Bílá Hora through Prague Castle and to the Malostranská metro station.

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