In brief: Cullen set for Irish Indoors
Published 15/02/2011 | 05:00
MARY Cullen, a European Indoor bronze medallist two years ago, makes her debut in the Irish Indoor Championships in Belfast next weekend.
Cullen bounced back from a broken collar bone this winter to secure the qualifying standard for next month's Europeans when running 8:56.89 in France last week, and her battle with Olympians Fionnuala Britton and Roisin McGettigan and in-form Stephanie O'Reilly should make for an ultra-competitive 3,000m in the Odyssey Arena.
Britton has still not secured the qualifying standard for the European Championships (nine minutes) despite coming within fractions of it in recent weeks.
Injured England batsman Eoin Morgan will be back to fitness sooner than expected after confirming he does not need an operation on his broken finger.
Dubliner Morgan was forced to pull out of the World Cup squad because of the injury.
It had been thought Morgan was so crucial to the side's plans that he may have been retained in the 15-man party with a view to playing in the knockout stages, if fit.
Team director Andy Flower said Morgan was unlikely to be available. However, a post on Morgan's Twitter page read: "Some good news this morning... no need for an op on my finger... pretty much healed. Will be back sooner than expected."
Justine Henin has likened her emotions after ending her playing career to being in mourning. A persistent elbow problem led the 29-year-old Belgian to retire from tennis for the second time last month.
"The will is there, but physically I can't (carry on). Now I have to mourn the end of my career," said Henin.
Meanwhile, Ireland's Sam Barry yesterday failed in his bid to overcome a 232-place deficit in the world rankings in an ITF Men's Futures event in Turkey.
Barry (ranked 1,226) slumped to a 7-5 6-2 defeat by Austria's 994-ranked Bastian Trinker in the first round qualifier of the outdoor hardcourt tournament in Antalya.