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Derval to lead World assault

ATHLETICS: Athletics Ireland has included Derval O'Rourke (Leevale) to its small but quality team for next weekend's World Track and Field Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Cork woman has not lined up in the world indoors since she won the championships in 2006, setting an Irish record of 7.84, which still stands today.

Clubmate Ciarán ó Lionaird, who placed 10th at the World Track and Field Championships in Daegu last August, will line-up in the men's 1,500m.

Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) will receive his first Ireland cap after hitting the standard of 7.74 to break his U23 Irish indoor 60m hurdles record.

Murphy falls shy of 200m record

SWIMMING: Gráinne Murphy missed out on breaking Michelle Smith-de Bruin's long-standing Irish record in the women's 200m Freestyle final on the opening day of the Carlton Irish National Swimming and Olympic Trials at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.

Murphy, who has already recorded an Olympic qualifying time in the women's 800m freestyle, held off the challenge of 16-year-old Sycerika McMahon to claim the gold.

Her time of two minutes 00.02 seconds was just nine hundredths of a second outside the time set by Smith de Bruin in winning the gold medal at the Europeans in Seville in 1997.

Medard out for at least six months

RUGBY: France fullback Maxime Medard will be sidelined for six to nine months after undergoing knee surgery, he confirmed.

Medard picked up the injury in France's 23-17 Six Nations win in Scotland last weekend.

"Surgery is scheduled for Monday and I will be out for six to nine months," Medard wrote.

Toulouse team-mate Clement Poitrenaud has replaced Medard for the game with Ireland.

Djokovic, Federer through in Dubai

TENNIS: Novak Djokovic beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 7-6 6-3 and Roger Federer defeated Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-5 6-3 to join him in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Andy Murray also reached the last eight with a 6-3 6-4 win over Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli, as did Mikhail Youzhny, who beat out-of-form Mardy Fish 6-2 7-6.