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Sunday 31 August 2014

Athletics: Jones set for AAI coach job

Published 05/04/2013 | 05:00

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Ireland's Fionnuala Britton. Picture: Sportsfile
Ireland's Fionnuala Britton. Picture: Sportsfile

FIONNUALA Britton's coach Chris Jones is hotly tipped to become Athletics Ireland's (AAI) new national endurance coach.

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Negotiations are still ongoing, with insiders stressing that it is not yet a done deal, and neither party would comment yesterday.

But the Irish Independent understands that Jones is AAI's first choice for the important new full-time role, which is the first paid coaching position in Irish athletics.

Jones has been working as Triathlon Ireland's high performance director since 2009. He has coached Olympian Aileen Reid (nee Morrison) to numerous European and World Championship podium finishes and was triathlon team coach at the London Games.

His reputationhas expanded further after helping Britton to win two European cross-country titles and a European indoor medal in the last two years.

Jones worked for Athletics Ireland once before, in a temporary consultancy role, which saw him produce athletics' high performance plan in 2010.

Barry dropped from Davis Cup singles

Tennis

IRELAND boss Garry Cahill has dropped a bombshell by axing Sam Barry for this weekend's Davis Cup clash with Finland at the Castleknock Club in west Dublin.

The 21-year-old Limerick man was the hero of the first-round win over Estonia in February, winning the tie-deciding singles rubber and, along with James McGee, saving two match points in the crucial doubles victory.

But for the battle against the Jarkko Nieminen-powered Finns, Barry has to be content with partnering McGee in tomorrow's doubles contest.

On this occasion, Cahill has chosen Dubliner Colin O'Brien to fill the No 2 singles slot, with McGee, playing at his home club, an automatic choice for the premier singles position.

The selection of O'Brien over Barry is additionally surprising as he has only recently returned to the pro circuit after two years out with an arm injury.

He showed encouraging form in Portugal when recording a 6-4 6-1 win over Harri Heliovaara, who will fill the No 2 singles slot on the Finland team. On the debit side, O'Brien has not featured in a live Davis Cup singles rubber since his three sets defeat by Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky in July 2008.

Irish Independent

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