Athletics: Ireland miss out on relay spot
IRELAND came home sixth in the final of the women's 4x200m freestyle relay at the European championships in Debrecen but missed the qualification mark for London 2012.
Sycerika McMahon, Melanie Nocher, Bethany Carson and Nuala Murphy posted a time of 8:09.15, just over two and a half seconds away from the performance needed to steal the final place from Ukraine.
The Irish quartet of McMahon, Nocher, Carson and Fiona Doyle will now compete in the 4x100m medley relay on Sunday in their final attempt to qualify a relay team for London.
Swim Ireland performance director Peter Banks said: "We'll go for the medley and see what happens. This is the most successful European Championships ever for Ireland when you think about the semi-finals and finals we have made. The girls did very well and just came up short in the relay."
Shani Stallard and Doyle enjoyed a good day, making the semi-finals of the 200m breaststroke, finishing 15th (2:32.11) and 16th (2:33.97). McMahon, Nocher and Carson are in action today in the 200m freestyle. Karl Burdis is in the heats of the 200m backstroke.
Two Irish hockey exiles will be competing with the best of Europe at the weekend in the climax of the EuroHockey League in Amsterdam.
Stephen Butler and Eugene Magee are both set to line out with the Antwerp Dragons against Hamburg tomorrow's semi-final.
Meanwhile, Hermes of Dublin will be keeping slightly less exalted company as they compete at the women's European Champions Challenge over four days in Switzerland. Seeking promotion for Ireland to the top grade, they have been drawn in the same half of the draw as hosts Wettingen, Slavia Prague from the Czech Republic and Wels of Austria.
IRELAND'S Daniel Glancy yesterday teamed up with Britain's James Feaver to book a doubles semi-final place in the ITF Men's Futures event in Mersin, Turkey. The No 3 seeds dropped only one game as they sent Turkish duo Durukan Durmus and Cahit Kapukiran packing, 6-1 6-0.
Mayo man Glancy and Feaver now face William Boe-Wiegaard (US) and Sweden's Patrik Brydolf, with a place in the final at stake.
Glancy also made a valiant bid to nail down a singles quarter-final place, pushing promising German 18-year-old Peter Heller, who had shocked the No 6 seed Erik Crepaldi in the opening round, to a 6-3 7-6 (7/5) winning margin.
Italian Andrea Guardini won the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia as he held off English world champion Mark Cavendish.
Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez retained the overall leader's pink jersey with three days of racing to go while Canadian Ryder Hesjedal lies half a minute further back in second.
Italian favourite Ivan Basso is placed third overall, 1:22 behind.