08-02-2001

By Peter Smith

In ice hockey there was another disappointing result for the Czechs as they went down 3-2 to Finland in the Swedish Games tournament in Stockholm. The result comes on the back of the Czechs 2-1 defeat the previous day to Russia, and ensures that Josef Augusta's team now has little or no chance of claiming the trophy. Augusta blamed the defeat upon losing the physical battle, but at least the World and Olympic Champions have a chance to regain some pride against Canada on Friday.

In tennis, the captain of the Czech Davis Cup team Jan Kukal is still not certain of his plans for the vital World Cup group tie against Sweden in Helsingborg this weekend. The confusion seems to surround which one of two players - Slava Dosedel or Michal Tabara - will be chosen to join Bohdan Ulihrach in the singles rubbers. Both the players have a strong case. "Michal Tabara is playing very well and Dosedel isn't on top form," said Kukal. "However, he does have a good record against Magnus Norman."

Dosedel has beaten the Swedish number one in three of their four previous meetings. Jiri Novak and David Rikl are expected to be the doubles partnership against the Swedes.

In football, the long-serving Sparta Prague forward Horst Siegl has decided to remain with the Gambrinus League champions until the end of the season. The 30-year-old will use the time to mull over the offer of a three and a half year contract with Prague's smallest top-flight club Viktoria Zizkov. "I have a contract with Sparta Prague until the summer and I would like to honour it," said Siegl.

Down in Sydney, the Czech Olympic bronze medallist Jan Rehula is reported to be recovering well after losing two points of blood in a cycling accident last weekend. Rehula underwent a second operation on Tuesday to repair the damage to his lower back and he is expected to be out competition for some considerable time. Get well soon.