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Britton edged out in Brussels

ATHLETICS: Double European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton finished an impressive second place at the Iris Lotto Cross Cup in Brussels yesterday.

Britton faced a number of top class athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia. The line-up also included European Under-23 champion Jess Coulson of Great Britain, who had beaten Britton at the IAAF Cross Country race in Burgos, Spain in November.

Ethiopian runner Ruti Aga constantly pushed the pace with only Britton able to stay with her.

Both athletes moved away from the chasing pack which included Coulson, Belgium's Almensch Belete and defending champion Caroline Chepkwony.

But Aga made a decisive move to secure the victory.

Cian second in the Ivy Stakes

EQUESTRIAN: Cian O'Connor finished second in the Ivy Stakes at the London International Horse Show at Olympia, but he was out of luck in the World Cup qualifier and Grand Prix.

Partnering Irish-bred 10-year-old Dual Star, the Meath rider was pipped by just 0.07 seconds in the 1.60m Ivy Stakes, which was won by Holland's Marc Houtzager on Sterrehof's Uppity.

O'Connor was third into the ring in the World Cup qualifier, but his 11-year-old stallion Ulano was overwhelmed and Ireland's individual bronze medallist retired. And after a late draw in the Grand Prix with Splendor, a first round error ended his hopes.

Sunday Times sue Armstrong

CYCLING: The Sunday Times is suing disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong for around £1million over his libel action against the British newspaper in 2004.

Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles from 1999-2005 in October, received £300,000 from The Sunday Times as payment towards his legal fees after the paper raised questions about the American's success following his recovery from testicular cancer.

The paper is demanding the return of the £300,000 payment plus interest, as well as costs.

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