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Basketball - 10. May 2012.

CZE - The comeback kid

PRAGUE (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women) - Ilona Burgrova didn't look very much like a player that was headed for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) for Women with the Czech Republic when she went down with torn ankle ligaments in early February.


A leading player in the Czech side that reached the Semi-Finals of last year's EuroBasket Women and came in fourth, the 1.94m Burgrova needed an operation to repair the damage.

While she wasn't able to make it back to action for USK Prague - who missed out on the EuroLeague Women Final Eight without her but won the Czech league title - the 28-year-old has recovered in time to join the national team in their preparations for Ankara, where the OQT will be staged (25 June-1 July).

"From the beginning, I believed that I would make it to the Olympic qualification squad," Burgrova said.

"I already know my body and know what it can do.

"Fortunately, it has reacted positively."

Burgrova has a reputation for playing good, hard-nosed basketball.

She was in the squad that thrilled Czech fans at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Karlovy Vary and reached the title game against the United States.

They will take on far less celebrated opponents in Group B of the OQT, Argentina and New Zealand.

Burgrova expects physical encounters, and that is why Lubor Blazek, the national team coach, will be hoping that she does well in the preparations and makes the final squad as no Czech player is tougher.

"When we are talking about them (Argentina and New Zealand), you especially think of hard basketball,” Burgrova said.

"There are no friendly opponents.

"One must be prepared to get hit."
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