Mixed fortunes for Irish at Q-School
Waterville's David Higgins and Limerick's Cian McNamara produced impressive sub-par last rounds in Spain yesterday to take a gigantic step towards securing their European Tour cards for next year.
Both playing over the Las Colinas course, Higgins fired a 68 and McNamara a 69 to total scores of 280 (four-under-par) and they finished in joint 16th spot to squeeze through to the final stage starting on Saturday.
But at the same course, Royal Dublin's former amateur international Niall Kearney, Aaron O'Callaghan and Brendan McCarroll all failed dismally to make progress.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's Chris Devlin pulled out all the stops at El Valle to record a four-under-par 67 for a 281 aggregate and a share of 14th.
Mark Staunton of Castleknock just missed out after a disappointing closing 73, but may still make the final if there are withdrawals, while Stephen Grant and Niall Turner failed, although Grant in joint 25th has an outside chance of going through if there are sufficient pull-outs. Colm Moriarty's failure at La Manga was a huge disappointment as he could do no better than 290 for joint 38th and Neil O'Briain squandered his chance with a 76 yesterday. Michael McGeady was well out of it.
Kieran Behan said his gold medal at the Challenge World Cup in Ostrava is "a dream come true" after the 22-year-old became the first Irish gymnast to have won such a prestigious title.
With a score of 14.675 he finished not only first on floor at this event but first overall on floor throughout the series. "It feels absolutely amazing and I'm over the moon," he said. "It's what dreams are made of and to top it off to win the World Cup Series and be ranked No 1 is absolutely amazing."
The victory should open the door to the 'invite only' category A events in Paris and China. The win also provides a fillip for both Behan and Ireland for spring's World Cup and European Championships.
Amir Khan believes his all-action fighting style could make him as popular in the United States as other British boxers such as Ricky Hatton.
Khan is in Washington DC, where he defends two light-welterweight world title belts against hometown fighter Lamont Peterson on Saturday night.
"I want to be a British fighter that people remember, alongside the likes of Ricky Hatton, Naseem Hamed, Lennox Lewis and Joe Calzaghe. They all came to the States and left a legacy," explained Khan, who turns 25 this week.
Meanwhile, Wladimir Klitschko, has failed to recover in time for Saturday's fight with Jean-Marc Mormeck in Dusseldorf after undergoing surgery at the weekend to remove a kidney stone.
The Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers secured their spots in NFL play-offs on Sunday with four weeks of regular season action to go.
With North Division rivals the Chicago Bears losing 10-3 to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Packers crowned their success by edging the Giants 38-35 in a thriller.