In brief: O'Keeffe hangs up her hammer
Published 26/05/2011 | 05:00
Ireland's world-class hammer thrower Eileen O'Keeffe, who was famously self-taught with a video her brother bought, has retired after a lengthy battle with a knee injury.
The 29-year-old from Kilkenny City Harriers proved her class by finishing sixth at the 2007 World Champion-ships in Osaka. That was the same year that O'Keeffe threw a 73.21m Irish record in Santry, which still remains 29th on the world all-time list. She also won silver at the World Universiry Games in 2007.
A year later she qualified for the Olympics, but a knee injury that summer curtailed her performance in Beijing and she has been dogged by injury since.
England captain Andrew Strauss has called on his players to put their Ashes glory behind them and begin a new chapter when they face Sri Lanka today.
It is less than five months since the opener led his side to a triumphant 3-1 series win Down Under, but Strauss is keen to draw a line under the recent past and continue the push to become the best side in the world.
Victory over Sri Lanka and current number ones India, who arrive later this summer, would go a long way to realising that aim.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan one-day captain Shahid Afridi has pulled out of the two-match series against Ireland this month.
England v Sri Lanka,
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Ireland's Sam Barry pulled off a shock win in his opening match in the ITF Men's Futures event in Israel.
The 19-year-old from Limerick showed no respect for the world rankings as he saw off the challenge of the No 4 seed, Italy's Federico Gaio 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7/5). His next opponent is Israeli 16-year-old Igor Smilanksy.
Elsewhere, Dubliner James McGee nailed down a place in the second round of the ITF Men's Futures tournament in Agadir, Morocco.
Seeded No 8, he despatched Germany's Ivo Mijic on a 7-5 6-2 margin to earn a last-16 clash against the Netherlands' Mark Vervoort.
An eight-strong Irish squad has been named for the 2011 EU Women's Championships, which begin in Katowice, Poland, on Sunday.
World and European lightweight champion Katie Taylor is included in the panel and will be aiming for her fourth EU gold on the trot.
Sinead Kavanagh (middle-weight), Kelly Harrington (light-welterweight), Lynne McInerney (light-flyweight), Laoise Traynor (welterweight), Ciara Smith (flyweight), Dervla Duffy (feather-weight) and Laura O'Neill (light-heavyweight) complete the team.
Sheffield Eagles coach Mark Aston will lead the Irish team into the 2013 World Cup. Their first game will be against Scotland in October.