FILE UNDER -- Nordic

TORINO: XC: Czech Republic manager fired after start-list error

TORINO: XC: Czech Republic manager fired after start-list error{mosimage}PRAGELATO, Italy – The Czech Republic fired cross-country manager Kvetoslav Zalcik on Sunday after he inadvertently submitted the wrong name for the final leg of the men’s Olympic 4×10-kilometer relay race.

”He was fired,” Czech Olympic Committee spokesman Jan Martinek told The Associated Press. ”It’s a very hard mistake he made, and the result is he got fired and he will go home.”

Martinek said the Czech Olympic team discussed possible solutions, and officials decided to dismiss Zalcik. He was already headed out of town Sunday.

Zalcik, who had been in the job for 10 years, accidentally wrote in sprint specialist Dusan Kozisek instead of Milan Sperl for the fourth and final leg of the relay.

Kozisek, who doesn’t normally ski distance events, was in bed in nearby Sestriere when the squad left for Pragelato, and had to hustle to the venue and borrow skis in order to compete. He arrived at the Pragelato Plan course about 30 minutes after the relay started.

The Czechs were in third place after the third leg and fell to ninth during Kozisek’s leg.

”It’s a really bad result for the Czechs,” Martinek said.

Apparently, nobody noticed the mixup until looking at the start list at 9 a.m., an hour before the start of the race. Kozisek was woken up and quickly drove down the mountain to Pragelato to join teammates Martin Koukal, Lukas Bauer and Jiri Magal.

– The Associated Press

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