independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Gregan chasing gold in Russia

DUBLINER Brian Gregan (DCU) is in pole position to bring home a gold medal from the World University Games in Kazan, Russia today.

The Clonliffe quarter-miler won his semi-final in 45.91 seconds, the fastest time in qualifying which will earn him the best lane for today's final (5.20 Irish time).

City of Lisburn sprinter Amy Foster (UUJ) got Ireland off to a great start by finishing fifth in the 100m final, taking second in her semi in 11.61 and clocking that fifth in 11.50, with the bronze won in 11.41.

Kilkenny's Ciara Everard (UCD) needed to make the top three in her 800m semi-final to go through but finished fifth in 2:05.59.

Ferrybank's Jessie Barr (UL) ran through torrential rain to finish second in 57.91 and gain an automatic spot in today's 400m hurdles final (4.40 Irish time). Waterford's Niamh Whelan (UL) will join Foster in the 200m heats today.

Irish Women's Close Champion Paula Grant (Lisburn) leads an experienced Irish team in search of glory today when the European Ladies Team Championships tee off at Fulford GC in York.

Grant is joined by US collegiate starlet Stephanie Meadow, the talented Maguire twins, Leona and Lisa, UCD student Chloe Ryan (Castletroy) and Maria Dunne (Skerries), who further strengthen a team buoyed by impressive domestic displays this season.

Meadow and the Maguires have already tasted European team success, having won gold and silver as part of the girls teams in 2009 and 2010. The remaining three are all seasoned internationals.

Claire Coughlan-Ryan (Cork) will captain the side and is assisted by ILGU high performance manager David Kearney.

The first of two 18-hole stroke-play qualifying rounds start today with the concluding round taking place tomorrow. Five out of six stroke-play scores count each day towards the team's total with the top eight teams qualifying to play for the medal positions.

Formula One pitlane television crews will have to film from the pit wall during races in future after a cameraman was hit and injured by a bouncing wheel in the German Grand Prix, according to Bernie Ecclestone.

Mechanics wear helmets during pitstops but others in a very restricted group given access to the pitlane – such as the media – do not and there were calls at the Nuerburgring for tighter procedures.

Cameraman Paul Allen was filming for Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) and the commercial supremo said the incident, caused by a wheel coming off Mark Webber's Red Bull as the Australian pulled away from a pitstop, had been "just one of those things".

"The cameraman just happened to be looking the wrong way at the wrong time," said Ecclestone. "In future, all our camera crews will only be allowed to film from the pit wall."

Allen was taken to hospital with a broken collarbone and fractured ribs.

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