Saturday 25 March 2017

In brief: Semenya gets national call

Athletics

Caster Semenya will return to major competition at the Commonwealth Games in India after she was included in South Africa's team yesterday.

The country's Olympic committee, SASCOC, named the 800m world champion as one of 32 track and field athletes, swimmers, cyclists, power lifters and rugby sevens players added to South Africa's initial 115-strong team for the October 3-14 games in Delhi.

"I'm very happy to see the return of Caster Semenya to duty for South Africa," SASCOC president Gideon Sam said. "It's good to hear her say that she's focusing all her efforts on the Commonwealths."

Semenya has won all three of her comeback races since she was cleared to run by world athletics body the IAAF following an 11-month break because of a gender dispute.

Sailing: Bertrand powers into ascendancy

Racing in the Etchells World Championships intensified at Howth yesterday when Australian John Bertrand scored a pair of first places and moved into a strong overall lead.

The event is expected to reach its halfway stage today, weather permitting, as two races instead of one are sailed to make up for Tuesday's gale-disrupted programme.

Second overall, Ante Razmillovic finished 12th yesterday to break the tie for the overall lead between himself and Bertrand. Best of the Irish was David Burrows, who leads the home fleet in 11th overall.

Tennis: Niland out to gain revenge

CONOR NILAND will have to overcome the player he lost to in this year's Australian Open qualifying to advance to the third and final round of the US Open qualifying.

After his 6-0 6-4 win over Spain's David Marrero in the first round on Monday, the Irish No 1 today takes on Brazil's Ricardo Hocevar.

Back in January, the South American deprived Niland of a main-draw place in the first Grand Slam of the year with a 1-6 6-4 6-3 victory. However, there are encouraging signs for the in-form Niland.

At the time of the Australian Open, Niland was ranked at 285 and Hocevar was at 194. But in the meantime the Irish player has jumped 131 places to a career-high 154, while Hocevar has dropped 59 places to 253.

Irish Independent

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