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In brief: Ailis: 'I nearly missed race!'

ATHLETICS: After becoming the fastest Irishwoman in history, flying Cork sprinter Ailis McSweeney (26) has revealed that she nearly didn't make it into the race where she broke Michelle Carroll's 32-year-old 100m record.

McSweeney got an extremely late call-up to race in Belgium on Tuesday, when she ran 11.40 seconds to beat the old mark of 11.43.

"I'd been told that the Liege meeting was full, even when I checked it again on Sunday night, but then I got an email from the organiser around midday on Monday saying there was a place in the B race and I jumped at it," the Leevale star explained.

"I won the B race but my time was fifth overall," she said. "In the final metres I was just telling myself to relax and not tense up because I felt it was fast."

Irish annex Aachen

Equestrian: Ireland won the most prestigious Nations Cup on the international circuit when cruising to victory in the hallowed arena at Aachen, Germany, last night.

Three second-round clears clinched it and, sensationally, Dermott Lennon with Hallmark Elite and Cian O'Connor riding K Club Lady produced two of the three double-clears of the entire competition.

"We certainly weren't favourites to win here but it's great when it all comes together and I'm delighted with the way my mare went," O'Connor said

Caster wins return

Athletics: Caster Semenya made a happy return to the track yesterday by winning the 800 metres event at a low-key meeting in Finland.

The world champion looked untroubled as she eased over the two-lap race in a time of two minutes and 4.22 seconds at the Lappeenranta Games.

The 19-year-old was given the all-clear by the International Association of Athletics Federations last week to resume her career having not competed in 11 months following the furore over her gender.

"It is not easy to come and run 2:04 while you stayed for 11 months at home," she said.

"So yeah, I am pretty happy with the performance."

Motorcycling: Valentino Rossi is preparing for a remarkable comeback from a broken right leg this weekend. Rossi will be back on his Fiat Yamaha in Germany today, just 41 days after suffering a compound fracture to his leg. "I just need to ride the bike," he said.

MLB: Boston 2 Texas 7, Atlanta 2 Milwaukee 1, Chicago Cubs 12 Philadelphia 6, Minnesota 7 Chicago White Sox 8, St Louis 7 LA Dodgers 1, LA Angels 8 Seattle 3, San Francisco 2 NY Mets 0.