Nevin eyes gold after banking Baku bronze

BOXING: Mullingar bantamweight John Joe Nevin has secured himself at least a bronze medal after he became the first Irish boxer to win medals at two separate World Championships.

The 22-year-old, fighting out of Cavan BC, beat Uzbekistan’s Orzubek Shaymov 19-17 to book his spot in the semi-finals. His last-four berth guarantees him a bronze at least, with his semi-final against Englishman Luke Campbell taking place tomorrow.

Nevin was delighted to come through the “tough” contest and create a piece of boxing history.

“He beat me the last time, but I had flu, but I knew I could beat him and, thank God, I did it. I’m delighted with bronze, but I want either silver or gold now,” he said.

There was disappointment, however, for middleweight Darren O’Neill and flyweight Michael Conlon, who both lost their respective quarter-finals.

Primary school teacher O’Neill ultimately succumbed to Royota Murata of Japan 18-9. Conlon, of St John Bosco BC, Belfast, fought bravely against European champion Andrew Selby (Wales). But the 19-year-old agonisingly lost the quarter-final by a single point, 25-24. He will have the consolation of a place in next summer’s Olympic Games in London.

Fans go wild as Dolan does his Part

DARTS: Fermanagh native Brendan Dolan caused arguably the biggest shock during a week of major upsets at the World Grand Prix of |Darts at Citywest, writes Niall Cronin.

The 38-year-old followed up his first-round win over Wayne Jones to knock out former world champion John Part 3-1. Dolan now faces John Henderson, who himself caused an upset, in the quarter-finals.

Henderson knocked out Wes Newton, who became one of four of the world’s top eight players to have exited this week’s tournament in the opening two rounds. Also last night, an out-of-sorts Raymond van Barneveld was sent packing by Andy Smith, who claimed one of the biggest wins of his career with a 3-1 victory to set up a quarter-final tie with James Wade.

Court ruling reverses Olympic ban

ATHLETICS: Sport’s top court ruled that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) can’t ban athletes guilty of doping from taking part in the next Olympic Games because it amounts to double punishment.

The IOC in 2008 moved to stop those suspended for more than six months for a doping violation from taking part in the next Games, even if their ban had ended. Today, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found the IOC decision “invalid and unenforcable”. The CAS decision means American 400m runner LaShawn Merritt can participate in the London Games next year.

Hamilton going on attack in Japan

F1: Lewis Hamilton has vowed to again “race hard” this weekend despite enduring a wretched penalty-strewn season he would care to forget.

With nothing left to play for, Hamilton sees no reason not to go for broke, starting at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. “I think Suzuka will play to my strengths,” said Hamilton. “It’s a track that really requires you to drive in an attacking way to be able to get a good lap time.”

Woods plots victory on Tour return

GOLF: Tiger Woods had a noticeable bounce in his step after competing in the Open pro-am yesterday near San Jose, and has targeted victory |in his first PGA Tour event in nearly two months.

Woods said he no longer had any limits on his practice time after regaining full fitness.

“I’m happy with how everything has progressed from tee to green,” the former world number one said.

“I’ve had a chance to practise and work on everything. That’s something that I hadn’t been able to do for a while, so I have to say I’m very pleased with every facet of my game.”

MLB – National League: St Louis 5 Philadelphia 3 (best-of-five series is |tied at 2-2). Arizona 10 Milwaukee 6 (best-of-five series is tied at 2-2).