02-08-2001

By Peter Smith

Yes, it's the sport and let's begin with the football. There was disappointment for the last surviving Czech team in the Intertoto Cup on Wednesday as Chmel Blsany went out to Italian club Brescia at the semi-final stage.

2-1 down from last week's home leg, Blsany got off to a wonderful start when Jan Velkoborsky rammed a rebounded shot after only 32 seconds. One the half-hour, though, Brescia equalised with a fine volley from the Albanian Igli Tare. Martin Pazdera put the Czechs back in front with a finely worked goal in the second half, and the tie level 3-3 on aggregate, extra time was looming. The unfortunate Blsany keeper Ales Chvalovsky settled matters, however, by allowing Antonio Filippini's last minute shot to slip under his body. So Brescia through to the final 4-3 on aggregate, where they will face Paris Saint-Germain.

Tomas Repka has announced his intention to stay at Fiorentina and quashed rumours that he is on the verge of moving to Glasgow Celtic. The Czech defender said that speculation over his departure from the financially stricken Italian club was extremely premature, in spite of several big European clubs expressing their admiration for him. "The media are always saying that I'm off somewhere," Repka complained, "but I just don't think about it - I just let it go past me."

Repka revealed that were he to leave Fiorentina, it would probably be to another Italian club, and not to "cold Scotland". "Anyone who's tried a little piece of the Italian league does not want to go anywhere else," he asserted.

Turning to tennis and up-and-coming Czech starlet Daniela Bedanova pulled off one of the biggest wins of her career to date by knocking Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario out of the WTA Tournament in San Diego. The 18-year-old admitted that when she arrived in California at the weekend, she thought it would be for a short stay. However, Bedanova outclassed her French opponent Fusail in the opening round to set-up the clash with the former Grand Slam tournament winner, Sanchez-Vicario, which she won 6-1, 6-4.

Bedanova now faces the Wimbledon champion, Venus Williams, in the third round.

02-08-2001