Nixon and O'Donovan dominate
ROWING: Ireland's scullers fulfilled expectations with dominant performances in their opening heats at the World Junior Championships in London yesterday, WRITES Robert Treharne Jones.
Torrential rain at the 2012 Olympic venue failed to put a dampener on proceedings as Holly Nixon and Paul O'Donovan cruised home comfortably ahead of the field to advance to the next round of the women's and men's single sculls respectively.
Nixon, from Portora Boat Club, was already seven seconds clear of second-placed Juliette Jeannet of Switzerland after 500m.
She had extended that lead to more than 11 seconds at halfway and despite easing up over the closing stages, she still managed to record the fastest split times in every section on the 2,000m lake.
"I didn't expect to win by such a margin -- Juliette beat me at Munich in May, so the changes in my programme have obviously made a big difference" Nixon said.
Ireland and Switzerland progressed direct to tomorrow's semi-finals.
Skibbereen's O'Donovan had an easier ride in the men's heats, where all bar the last finisher in each heat moved through automatically to today's quarter-finals.
Jahor Matsukov of Belarus led the early stages ahead of Latvia and Ireland before O'Donovan squeezed on the pressure with 500m to go and crossed the line 3.83 secs clear of the field.
All three qualified for the next round with fourth-placed Tunisia, while Georgia failed to make the cut.
Martin stays fourth
in tour of Poland
CYCLING: Ireland's Daniel Martin retained his fourth position in the general classification of the Tour of Poland after yesterday's stage in Zakopane.
Slovakia's Peter Sagan retained the yellow jersey, winning yesterday's 201.5km stage with a time of 4hrs 58mins 26seconds.
Martin finished the punishing climb in 26th spot, which left him 20 seconds behind Sagan in the overall standings. The Irishman begins today's stage in Bukovina three seconds clear of Luca Paolini and three seconds behind third-placed Romain Feillu.