The European Capital of Sport is a title, awarded annually to a European city. Following the example of the European Capital of Culture, the ACES (European Capital of Sport Association) has been granting this award since 2001. The Czech Capital became the 16th
city to be recognised as the “European Capital of Sport” for the whole year. In the previous years the title was held by cities such as Istanbul, Antwerp, Turin and Cardiff. So what sporting events in Prague are unmissable this year?
WTA Sparta Prague Open
Tennis fans have already circled April 25 to May 2 in their diaries, as on these days Prague is going to hold the sixth year of the international tournament for women – the WTA – J&T Banka Prague Open 2016. This international event for female tennis players, which is a part of the ITF circuit, is the most important women’s tennis competition within the territory of the Czech Republic. The tournament is contributing to the creation of a new tradition of prestigious sporting events to be held not only in Prague
, but the whole of the Czech Republic. Admission is free for spectators throughout the entire competition. Last year’s winner and the world No. 12 Karolína Plíšková will undoubtedly do her best to defend her title. Also on the entry list is the current world number nine Lucie Šafářová as well as Lucie Hradecká.
Marathon Weekend 2016
One of the most beautiful marathons worldwide with more than 10,000 runners ranks among the traditional sporting highlights of the Czech Republic. Starting on the Old Town Square
, you will leave the famous Astronomical Clock behind as you head through Pařížská Street for the River Vltava. Then you will run across Charles Bridge
, a Gothic gem of Prague, while feasting your eyes on the magnificent Prague Castle
. The competition will take place on May 8, and the day before that you can participate in the dog walking which is somewhat of a prelude to the marathon. The race itself is divided into several categories – individual, relay, teams. In addition, you can test your stamina in the family mini-marathon.
Held for the twelfth time this May, the international mountain bike race will present the best international cyclists, world champions and Olympic winners. Being somewhat of a world rarity, the race route is a 1250 m long circuit leading along the lanes of Lesser Town
. The section most appealing to spectators is the descent down the 190 stairs of the Castle Steps on each individual circuit. To make the competition even more interesting the organisers have placed various obstacles on the flat sections. The race traditionally starts at 6 p.m. and takes one hour plus the last circuit.
Josef Odložil Memorial
Held in June, the Josef Odložil Memorial is an international track and field event included in the series of Outdoor Premium Meetings of the European Athletics Association. The competition will bring together stars of Czech and world athletics, Olympic medal winners, holders of World and European records as well as World and European Champions. You can look forward to the classic athletic disciplines – 100 and 400 metres, high jump, pole vault, javelin and others. Traditionally, the 1,500-metre run is the main race of the meeting because Josef Odložil, who the event commemorates, won the silver medal in this discipline in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Prague Wheel Open
Attended by more than 15 teams from the CR and other countries, the floorball tournament for the handicapped will stage several additional events this year as in the past. The schedule promises a penalty shootout competition, floorball skill competition for individuals, exhibition match of able-bodied against handicapped as well as a floorball exhibition on electric wheelchairs. The tournament will be played from August 4 to 6 and will yet again welcome the best floorball players on wheels.
Prague Triathlon Weekend - TRIPrague
The three-day international event connected with triathlon activities and races organised in the territory of Prague
will peak with the international middle-distance triathlon race. Taking place on July 30, the main race consists of 1.9 km of swimming, 80 km of cycling and 21 km of running. In addition, you can opt for a gentler version – the Mini TRIPrague comprising 0.38 km of swimming, 18 km of cycling and 4.2 km of running. The supporting programme schedules a kids’ race and other exciting activities.