Jezierski joins the world elite

Lindie Naughton

CANOEING: Ireland's latest Olympic qualifier, Andrzej Jezierski from Cork, is in Duisburg, Germany, this weekend for sprint canoeing's second World Cup.

At the season's opening World Cup in Poznan, Poland, last week, Jezierski finished second in the C1 (canoe) 200m and booked his place at London 2012. His time of 43.034 seconds put him only half a second behind the winner, Lubomir Hagara of Slovakia. He is a genuine medal hope for Ireland.

Also competing in Poznan was Jenny Egan of Salmon Leap who finished seventh in the women's K1 final in 2:04.061, and also made the semi-final.

She goes in the 200m, 500m and non-Olympic 1,000m this weekend and still has hopes of making London. Neil Fleming of Celbridge Paddlers, fifth in the non-Olympic K1 500m in Poznan, competes in both 500m and 1,000m, along with Barry Watkins of Salmon Leap.

Competing in the K2 200m are two Irish boats -- Seán Marchetti and Val Peirce of Celbridge Paddlers are in one, and Peter Egan and Maciej Majchrzak of Salmon Leap are in the other.

SNOOKER: Five former champions have made the final eight for this weekend's Irish Snooker Championships in Letterkenny.

Leading the posse is the consistent Rodney Goggins of the 147 Club in Wexford, who tops the Irish rankings. In the Irish rankings series, Goggins won two tournaments and made the semi-finals in all seven.

Goggins' only Irish title came in 2000. Hoping for a first title are Dubliners Robert Murphy of the Q Club in Wicklow and Robert Redmond of the Griffith club. Murphy put out reigning champion Jason Devaney in the last 16.

Surprise package of the draw is Johnny Williams from Carrickmac-ross, who beat former champion TJ Dowling in the last 32.

Quarter-final draw: Goggins v Murphy, McCrudden v Gilcreest, Muldoon v Redmond, Williams v O'Donoghue.

BADMINTON: Chloe Magee and Scott Evans, who are both set for their second Olympic Games later this summer, were deserved winners of the Aer Lingus Player of the Year awards at the annual Badminton Ireland Awards in Dublin last Saturday.

Magee, who made the second round at the Beijing Olympics four years ago, looks certain of her place at London 2012, while Evans as first reserve is very likely to join her.

Taking the coveted Yonex Club of the Year award was Ennis Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club -- a club that not only provides top quality facilities but is committed to promoting and coaching badminton at all levels.

HOCKEY: A strong Hermes squad takes on teams from the Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland in the pool stages of the Euro Hockey Club Champions Challenge 1 in Wettingen, Switzerland, this weekend, with play-offs on Monday.

Among those travelling are Emma Gray, Aine Connery, Sinead McCarthy and Audrey O'Flynn, all members of the Irish squad for the London Cup a week later.

Aine is joined by sisters Sinead and Eimear Connery on the Hermes squad. Team coach is former Irish captain Mary Logue.

ROWING: Crews from UCD, Trinity and Blackrock College take on the strongest line-up yet at the Belfast University Boat Race next Saturday (12.30pm).

In a first for Belfast, the University of Cambridge is sending some of its best rowers to Belfast.