In brief: Irish off to flying start in Fed Cup
The Ireland women's team made a tremendous start to their Fed Cup campaign when they thrashed Moldova 3-0 on an outdoor clay court in Cairo yesterday. Greystones' Amy Bowtell overpowered fellow 17-year-old Daniela Ciobanu 6-0 6-2 in the opening singles rubber of the Europe-Africa Zone Group Three competition.
Australian-born national No 1 Julia Moriarty provided Ireland with an unbeatable 2-0 lead when she edged the opposition's top player, Julia Helbet 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in the second singles contest. In the doubles encounter, Moriarty and Antrim's Lynsey McCullough defeated Ciobanu and Alina Soltanici 6-3 6-2.
Ireland have been drawn with Egypt, Moldova, Norway and Tunisian in Pool B of the nine-country round-robin event, with Algeria, Lithuania, Montenegro and South Africa making up Pool A. The event runs until next Saturday and the top two countries will be promoted to Group Two for 2012.
Courtown's Philip Doran was confirmed Laser Radial champion at the end of the ISA Mitsubishi Youth nationals at Dun Laoghaire yesterday. Rough seas forced organisers to first postpone the start of racing when the wind gusted to gale force and the 250-strong fleet was signalled to pack up for home at mid-day.
Doran counted no fewer than five bullets in the eight-race series and led Robbie Gilmore from Strangford Lough in second place by a comfortable 11 points.
Best of the girls was Sophie Murphy from Quoile in ninth overall in the 43-boat division. The northerner will now represent Ireland at the Youth Worlds in Croatia this summer.
Sophie Browne of Tralee Bay Sailing Club was the outright winner of the Irish Optimist class selection trials and she will attend the world championships in New Zealand in December.
Elsewhere, the 15-boat 420 class was drawn three-ways after eight races and after a tie-break, Patrick and Chloe Crosbie from the Royal Cork YC were confirmed winners.
Mark Christie got his Olympic aspirations back on track in California over the weekend when he chopped almost 10 seconds off his 5,000m best at the Peyton Jordan Invitational at Stanford University in Palo Alto, WRITES Tom O'Riordan.
The 26-year-old from Mullingar finished fifth in a high-quality race with a time of 13:28.21. More importantly for Christie, it gives him a realistic hope of achieving the 'A' standard of 13:20 for the London Olympics over the next 15 months. Alistair Cragg, running just two weeks after blisters hit his marathon debut, finished eighth in 13:30.21.
- Gavin Henson has rejoined the Toulon squad following his week-long suspension for a nightclub brawl with team-mates and is expected to play against Montpellier on Sunday, the Top-14 club announced yesterday.