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Legendary Czech left wing Augusta dies at 70

AFP-JIJI

Czech ice hockey legend Josef Augusta, who won three world titles as a coach in 1999-2001, died at the age of 70 on Thursday, the Czech Ice Hockey Association said.

Czech media said Augusta had battled pancreatic cancer for years.

As a left wing, Augusta won silver medals with the former Czechoslovakia at the world championships in 1974, 1975 and 1978 and bronze in 1969. He was also on the team that won Olympic silver at the 1976 Innsbruck Games. In the same year, he helped Czechoslovakia win silver at the first edition of the Canada Cup.

Augusta started his coaching career with the Czech Republic national team in 1999 as an assistant to Ivan Hlinka, winning gold in his first year. Then he took over as head coach and won the world titles in 2000 and 2001.

His national team contract was not extended after the Czechs lost to Russia in the quarterfinals of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and at the world championships in the same year.