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Badminton aces Magee and Evans set for Olympics

BADMINTON: Irish badminton stars Chloe Magee (pictured) and Scott Evans have had their places at the London Olympic Games confirmed.

Magee, world ranked No 46, sealed her place on the team last December when she made the quarter-finals of the Irish Championships in Lisburn. For Evans, world ranked 73 and just one place off automatic selection, there was a nervous wait until his place was confirmed last week.

It will be a second appearance for both at the Olympic Games.

In an exciting time for the sport in Ireland, eight badminton nations, including Ireland, will take part in an officially sanctioned pre-Olympic Games training camp in Dublin next month. A total of 14 Olympians from developing badminton nations South Africa, Peru, Finland, Uganda, Mexico and Egypt are already confirmed. British and Korean Olympic coach Lee Jae Bok will supervise.

Meanwhile, world champion Niall McVeigh took gold for Ireland at the BWF European Disability Badminton Championships in Dortmund, Germany. Taking silver was the doubles partnership of Luke Irvine and English player Krysten Coombs, while in her first international tournament, Emma Farnham won a bronze medal.

HOCKEY: Stephanie Quinn of Pegasus makes a return to the Irish women's hockey squad for the Celtic Cup at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club from June 29 to July 1. Quinn last played for Ireland four years ago.

Of the 17-strong squad, 13 are Leinster based, with five from Hermes and two each from Loreto, Railway Union, Old Alex and UCD.

Ireland play a warm-up match against Scotland before the tournament, where Grace O'Flanagan and Zara Delaney are added to the squad.

TUG OF WAR: Lakehill from Co Mayo won the opening round of tug of war's National Championships at the Clonakilty Agricultural Show.

In the catchweight final, Lakehill beat the legendary Boley team from Wexford. Local team Glenhill beat Lavalley to win the Division 2 title, while at novice level, an all-Offaly final saw Boyneside win their first ever national title when they beat Killoughey. Hillview, another Offaly team, beat Lough Arrow from Sligo to win the U18 425kg six-a-side championship. The next round in Dundalk on June 24 includes the 600kg championships.

RUGBY LEAGUE: Six home-grown players are included in the Irish rugby league squad that plays England Knights at Langtree Park (St Helen's) today. Wayne Kerr, Joe Taylor, Paddy Barcoe, Ian Cross, Aaron McCloskey and Adam Hughes all make the squad for the first time. Taylor, Barcoe and Hughes play their rugby with Dublin City Exiles.

A further six uncapped players have made the squad including Widnes Viking Kurt Haggerty and Leeds Rhinos Academy's Sean Casey, who follows a family tradition. Both father Leo Casey and brother Callum have played for Ireland. Liam Finn captains the side for the fourth time.