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Poulter seizes Australian lead

GOLF: Ian Poulter put world number one Luke Donald in the shade to seize the lead after the opening round of the Australian Masters.

Poulter fired a six-under-par 65 at Victoria Golf Club to gain a one-stroke advantage over local hopeful Ashley Hall.

Peter Lonard, Jarrod Lyle and Matthew Giles were among six players on 67, one shot clear of Rod Pampling and Richard Green and two ahead of Donald.

Australian Greg Chalmers, looking to add another trophy after his recent Australian Open and Australian PGA titles, matched Donald's 69, while defending champion Stuart Appleby returned a 70 after deciding only at the last minute that he was fit to play.

Nathan Green's 69 included the shot of the day when he holed his second from the fairway for eagle at the par-four third.

Stars line up in Thailand

GOLF: A star-studded field is doing battle at the inaugural Thailand Golf Championship.

Despite the withdrawal of US Open champion Rory McIlroy because of illness, the tournament has attracted a host of big names including British Open winner Darren Clarke and Masters champion Charl Schwartzel from South Africa.

Clarke, who has suffered a poor run since winning the Open in July, said he was looking for a victory in Thailand to round off the year on a high note.

"I'm trying to win again. If I do, it would be great," said the Dungannon man.

Duo seal Olympics spot

SAILING: Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern have officially qualified Ireland for next year's Olympics in the 49er Skiff class, securing a second qualification after Annalise Murphy booked her London place from the Laser Radial last week.

It will be the first time since Athens 2004 that Ireland have been represented in the 49er class.

The duo are currently competing at the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Perth, Australia.

Nevin in for Leipzig tie

BOXING: Two-time AIBA World medallist John Joe Nevin will make his first appearance of the season for Paris United against the Leipzig Leopards in Germany tomorrow night.

The Cavan BC bantamweight (56kg) meets Rashid Kaseem of Denmark at the World Series of Boxing lightweight limit (57kg to 61kg).

Khan eyes neutral bout

boxing: Amir Khan insists he would prefer his rematch with Lamont Peterson to be at a neutral venue after his controversial light-welterweight world title loss in Washington DC last weekend.

"We want the rematch just to settle the score, and this time somewhere neutral -- maybe Las Vegas," Khan said.