Saturday 23 September 2017

Taylor gets her revenge chance

BOXING

WORLD and European lightweight champion Katie Taylor will get her European Union defence under way with a last-16 clash against Bulgaria's Denista Eliseeva in Poland today, writes Bernard O'Neill.

The four-rounder in Katowice is a repeat of February's Strandja Multi Nations duel in Bulgaria, which Eliseeva -- who was comprehensively beaten by Taylor in their two prior meetings -- was adjudged to have won 5-1 despite Taylor dominating the bout.

Eliseeva apologised to Taylor -- who is aiming for her fourth EU gold medal in a row in Poland -- after her 'win' at the Strandja Multi-Nations and went on to claim gold at the tournament.

Ireland team boss Majella Loftus said: "We've been here since last Saturday and it's great to get the boxing started.

"The girls are all in great shape and looking forward to getting in the ring."

Meanwhile, Drimnagh BC light-heavyweight Sinead Kavanagh will also be between the ropes today.

The Dubliner meets Spain's Tamara Fabiana Garcia in the last 16.

Cavan flyweight Ceire Smith gets her campaign under way tomorrow, while Lyne McInerney, Dervla Duffy and Kelly Harrington will contest quarter-finals on Thursday.

Laoise Traynor and Lauragh O'Neill have both received byes into Friday's semi-finals and are both guaranteed at least bronze.

TENNIS

CONOR NILAND yesterday marked his return to tournament action after his first-round exit in French Open qualifying by recording two successive wins for the first time in almost two months, writes Paddy Hickey.

No 2 seed Niland first saw off the challenge of Switzerland's Alexander Sadecky on a 7-5 6-1 scoreline in the qualifying opening round in the ATP Challenger Tour event in Nottingham.

And the Irish No 1 followed up with a 6-3 6-3 win over 17-year-old Briton David Baxendine to set up a final-round showdown against the No 8 seed, Italy's Riccardo Ghedin.

The Limerick native's last brace of victories was recorded in qualifying of the top tier ATP World Tour tournament in Morocco in early April.

SWIMMING

ANDREW Bree came up short by some distance in his bid to qualify for the World Championships yesterday.

The 30-year-old was aiming to go under 2:13.24 at the Speedo Grand Challenge in California but the Co Down man could only clock 2:15.46 in the 200m breaststroke final.

Bree, who is based in Southern California, did manage to take the silver medal, adding to his bronze in the 100m breaststroke at the high-class meet.

Victory went to American record holder Eric Shanteau, who also won the 100m breast, winning in 2:11.71.

Irish Independent

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