In brief: Irish poised for historic final
Published 04/11/2010 | 05:00
Ireland's paralympic rowers face the biggest challenge in their short history this afternoon when they compete in the final of the world championships in New Zealand.
Never before has an Irish crew reached this stage in rowing, but when four athletes have conquered physical challenges of their own, then brick walls can tumble.
It was only last year that Ireland contested their first international regatta in the mixed coxed fours.
The crew, which trains out of Castleconnell Boat Club in Limerick, placed third at the World Cup in Munich last year and reached seventh place at the world championships in Poland.
Since then, Donegal-born Anne-Marie McDaid has stepped in and the crew, which also includes Sarah Caffrey, Shane Ryan and Kevin du Toit, has begun to fly.
In Monday's heat, they set a new PB and the following day they rowed the race of their lives to achieve their season's target of a place in the final and, with it, the chance of a medal.
Defending champion Andy Murray suffered a shock defeat by Argentinian Juan Monaco in the second round of the Valencia Open.
Murray, the No 1 seed, was outplayed and a second-set revival failed to spark him into life as he went down 6-2 3-6 6-2.
Colin O'Brien followed up his win over fellow Irishman Sam Barry on Tuesday by qualifying for his first tournament singles quarter-final in seven weeks.
The eighth-seeded Dubliner stormed to a 7-5 6-1 win over Croatia's Ivan Cerovic in the second round of the ITF Futures event in Crete.
SPORTING FINGAL insist that that they have not told their out-of-contract players that their deals will not be renewed.
According to a statement issued by the club yesterday, manager Liam Buckley met out-of-contract players on Tuesday and advised them that new deals will be discussed "as and when the budget review is complete".
Philip Lavery has signed for the An Post/Sean Kelly team, which will be further boosted by the arrival of English rider Andrew Fenn, who won the Junior Paris Roubaix in 2008.
Lavery has raced for the the An Post/Sean Kelly team as a stagiaire over the last couple of months.