Saturday 23 September 2017

Taylor collects four-in-a-row

BOXING: Katie Taylor was back on top of the podium again yesterday after claiming her fourth European Union lightweight title on the trot in Katowice, Poland.

The Bray woman, the current AIBA World and European champion and 2010 World female boxer of the year, beat Poland's Karolina Graczyk 25-9 to win gold. And she also scooped the Boxer of the Tournament award.

"I'm delighted with the win and my performance in the final and I would like to thank my corner as they got the tactics spot on," said the 24-year-old, who posted four wins in five days in Poland, scoring 80 points and conceding 30.

IABA director of boxing Dominic O'Rourke said that Taylor's performance showed why she's the world's number one.

"She produced another fantastic performance and showed great balance and co-ordination in the final," he said. "She peaked over the last two days and we're thrilled with the win."

Yesterday's win guarantees Ireland one gold and two bronze medals from the European Union Championships as Lauragh O'Neill and Taylor's Bray BC team-mate Laoise Traynor both won bronze by reaching the semi-finals.

* * * * *

Athletics: Just three months after having cardiac surgery, 14-year-old Sinéad Burke beat all the odds and won gold in the Junior 1,200m Walk at the Woodies DIY All-Ireland Schools Track and Field finals in Tullamore yesterday.

Burke, who races for St Coca's club in Kilcock and is coached by Bobby King, returned to the track just five weeks after her surgery.

She has since won gold at the West Leinster Schools and the Leinster Schools, and set a Leinster Schools record of 5.38.

The previous record was set in 1997, the year Burke was born.

Yesterday she was half a second off breaking the Irish Schools record held by Kate Veale. As a result of her victory, the Maynooth Post Primary school student has now qualified for the Tailteann Games.

* * * * * *

IRISH record holder Alistair Cragg has once again failed to finish a race, this time dropping out of the 10,000m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

Hopes were high that Cragg would, at last, get it together but he failed to see out the finish and that puts paid to his prospects of making the World Championships later this year.

The race saw Mohammed Farah set a new British and European record with a brilliant winning performance of 26:46.57, the fastest in the world this year.

* * * * *

GOLF: Red tape stopped Alan Dunbar teeing it up in the prestigious St Andrew Links Trophy but he still sent the Walker Cup selectors a clear message by snatching the first-round lead in the East of Ireland Championship at County Louth.

The 21-year-old Walker Cup prospect, who was frustrated to miss out on a place at St Andrews this week because the GUI refuses to use the exemptions at its disposal when tournaments clash with their own championships, opened with a four-under-par 68 at the fast-running Baltray links.

Last year's Irish Amateur Open and North of Ireland champion finished the day one stroke clear of Headfort's Brian Casey, Kilkenny's Craig Martin and Baltray's Gerard Kelly as they all shot 69s.

Nineteen players in the 156-strong field broke par, including Walker Cup hopefuls Dermot McElroy of Ballymena and Skerries' Jeff Hopkins, who were in a six-strong group that opened with two-under 70s.

Baltray's Shane Smyth, a son of former Ryder Cup and European Tour player Des Smyth, was just three shots off the lead after a 71.

* * * * * *

HOCKEY: Ireland started their first match in the Celtic Cup in Inverclyde with a 5-0 win over Wales.

The Irish proved deadly from set pieces and scored four from penalty corners. Two drag flick goals from Michelle Harvey, a Cliodhna Sargents direct shot and an Alex Speers goal from the second phase of a short corner rewarded continuous Irish pressure.

Aine Connery made it five when she took control of a hard pass, picked her point and flicked her shot high into the net to secure Ireland's win.

* * * * * *

CRICKET: Sri Lanka's openers batted their team back into contention with a record double-century stand at Lord's yesterday.

Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (127no) and Tharanga Paranavitana (65) put on 207, their team's highest first-wicket partnership against England, as the tourists responded to 486 with 231 for one on day two of the second test. After Matt Prior (126) had completed his fifth Test century, the pressure was on Sri Lanka.

They could hardly have responded any better, Dilshan carving, pulling and driving 11 fours and two sixes in his 129-ball hundred -- and Paranavitana unhurriedly blunting England's 6ft 6in-plus pace trio of Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett and Steven Finn.

Prior and Broad (54) turned their overnight stand of 40 into 108 in under nine overs, with Eoin Morgan hitting 79 before being bowled lbw.

* * * * * *

Waterpolo: Olympic champions Hungary take on Great Britain in two exhibition games at the National Aquatic Centre tomorrow and Tuesday (7.0).

The events are sold out.

Sunday Indo Sport

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport