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O Lionaird’s Istanbul woe

ATHLETICS: Irish hopeful Ciaran O Lionaird recorded time of 3:50.21 in Heat 1 of the men’s 1500m race at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey today, but the Cork native failed to qualify for the final as he finished second last in the race.

The IAAF also wrongly stated that he had set a PB. His best time is actually 3:48.72

Roche falls further back

CYCLING: Irishman Nicolas Roche lost more time on the uphill finish to Mende yesterday as Bradley Wiggins finished third on stage five of Paris-Nice to retain the yellow jersey of race leader\[D.hardiman\] for another day.

Roche drifted off the pace on the\[D.hardiman\]final 3km climb to the finish as\[D.hardiman\]recent Volta ao Algarve winner Richie Porte set a blistering pace at the bottom for his team Sky leader Wiggins. Roche finished 34th on the stage and lies in 22nd place overall\[D.hardiman\], one minute and 17 seconds behind Westra\[D.hardiman\]stage winner.

Top field for Ireland Run

ATHLETICS: Spain’s European cross-country silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem and Jesus Espana will lead the European challenge against Ethiopian superstar Kenenisa Bekele in next month’s Spar Great Ireland Run.

Lamdassem pushed Haile Gebrselassie hard in the Great Manchester Run in 2010 and has improved since, while Espana, the 2006 European champion at 5000m who took silver in 2010, won in the Phoenix Park race last year\[D.hardiman\] and is returning to defend his title.

Ireland’s Mark Kenneally, Linda Byrne and Ava Hutchinson, who have all achieved the Olympic marathon qualifying standard for London, will be leading the home challenge on April 15.

Bad start for Kearney

GOLF: Niall Kearney got his 2012 European Challenge Tour season off to a disappointing start as he struggled to get to grips with strong winds at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Classic, carding a seven over par 79 at Country Club de Barranquilla, outside Barranquilla in Colombia. The 23-year-old finished the day in tied 107th place after he got off to a rough start with back-to-back bogeys on the first and second hole before a par was followed by a triple-bogey on the 508 yard par five fourth hole. From then on in, it was a battle for the Dubliner

Williams turn tidy profit

F1: Williams has again announced an increase in profits following the release of their end-of-year financial results.