Saturday 21 October 2017

Athletics: Britton coasts to victory

European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton was in sparkling form as she sped to an impressive victory in the annual Gerry Farnan Cross Country in the Phoenix Park.

The Kilcoole AC runner led from the start of the three-mile event and coasted to a comfortable victory in 15 mins 36 secs -- over a minute clear of Sarah McCormack of Clonliffe Harriers in 16:46.

David McCarthy won the men's race by 33 seconds from Laois man Michael Mulhaire.

A recent newspaper report claiming that Anne Keenan Buckley had resigned from her role as head of cross country and endurance at Athletics Ireland is not correct, according to chief executive John Foley.

"Anne is a very important and highly valued member of the Athletics Ireland High Performance management team and has our full support," said Foley.

Motorsport

Aron Smith completed his maiden season in the British Touring Car Championship by scoring a magnificent victory in the second race of the day at Brands Hatch, finishing three seconds ahead of newly crowned champion Gordon Shedden.

Smith's late-season surge to form boosted him to eighth place in the table.

Equestrian

Cian O'Connor steered his Olympic bronze medal winning ride, Blue Loyd, into fourth place in the 3-Star Grand Prix at Caen, France.

The Irishman has been enjoying a purple patch with Grand Prix success in Beijing, China and two wins on the national circuit in recent weeks and is preparing Blue Loyd for World Cup qualifiers in Lyon and Verona next month. His stable rider Ross Mulholland also won the 2-Star Grand Prix in Caen with Davinci's Pride.

Meanwhile, with a double of wins and third place in Saturday's World Cup qualifier, Shane Sweetnam claimed the Leading Rider Award at Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, USA where he was two seconds off the pace of Kent Farrington on Uceko.

At Gravenwezel in Belgium, 21-year-old Meath rider Gerard Clarke steered Ardragh Stein to victory in the 2-Star Grand Prix, while at Cavan, 17-year-old Daniel Coyle from Derry won the latest leg of the Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League.

Triathlon

Mayo's Con Doherty claimed a bronze medal at the ITU World Triathlon Junior Championships in Auckland.

The Westport teenager said: "I had to bury myself during the cycle and just hang on in the run, and I just held on for dear life," Doherty said.

Irish Independent

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