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Slovak sportsmen and women shine in global arena

THIS WAS a good year for Slovak sports, with obvious highlights the victory of the men's ice hockey team in the world championships in May and the women's tennis team bringing home the much-coveted Fed Cup in November.

January 26 - Swimming star Martina Moravcová, who won two silver medals in the Sydney 2000 Olympics, sets a world record in the 100-metre butterfly at the world swimming championships in Berlin. Her time of 56.55 beat the old record by one-hundredth of a second. It was the third world record of her career.


HANTUCHOVÁ won several titles in 2002.
phot: TASR

THIS WAS a good year for Slovak sports, with obvious highlights the victory of the men's ice hockey team in the world championships in May and the women's tennis team bringing home the much-coveted Fed Cup in November.


January 26- Swimming star Martina Moravcová, who won two silver medals in the Sydney 2000 Olympics, sets a world record in the 100-metre butterfly at the world swimming championships in Berlin. Her time of 56.55 beat the old record by one-hundredth of a second. It was the third world record of her career.


January 27- Tennis sensation Daniela Hantuchová, 18, and partner Kevin Ullyett, 30, of Zimbabwe win the mixed-doubles final of the Australian Open tennis championship. It is Hantuchová's second major mixed-doubles title, having won the event at Wimbledon last year.


February 10- The Slovak Olympic ice hockey squad is eliminated from competition at the Salt Lake City Winter Games. The Olympic system required Slovakia to play a preliminary round without many of the 28 Slovak nationals who play in the NHL, the world's premiere league. The NHL's Olympic break only covered the tournament's final round and the Slovak side was left shorthanded.


March 16- Daniela Hantuchová wins $332,000 as she takes the women's title at the Indian Wells championship, beating Martina Hingis in the final 6:3, 6:4. With the win Hantuchová moves up to 18th place on the WTA rankings.


Late April- Hantuchová wins another title, this time for her looks. The tennis magazine Ace votes the youngster the world's sexiest female tennis player, coming ahead of the Russian superstar and tennis pin-up Anna Kournikova.


May 11- Slovakia's dramatic 4-3 victory in the World Hockey Championship finals over silver medallists Russia on Peter Bondra's late goal touches off almost 24 hours of public jubilation around the country, in a communal celebration not witnessed since the 1989 anti-communist revolution. It is Slovakia's first gold medal in hockey.


August 2- Moravcová wins a gold medal in the 100-metre butterfly at the European Championships in Berlin. Moravcová narrowly misses the record books, scoring the second-best time in history, 57.20 seconds, in the 100m butterfly event. Moravcová also wins two silver medals, in the 50- and 100-metre crawl.


October 12- Slovak fans shout racist taunts at black English players during a weekend international match in Bratislava.


November 3- Slovakia's women's tennis team wins the Fed Cup, the top team competition in women's tennis, earning their country the title for the first time.


December 15- Moravcová wins three titles at the European Championships in Riese, Germany.

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