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Sam storms into semis in Belgium

BADMINTON: Sam Magee, playing with Mikkel Elbjorn from Denmark, reached the semi-finals of the Yonex Belgian International in Leuven, before going out to Jorgen Kock and Peter Zauner of Denmark.

In the mixed doubles, Sam and sister Chloe Magee were seeded No2, but lost in the quarter-finals to Danish pair Kim Astrup Sorensen and Line Kjaersfeldt.

Chloe Magee went out in the opening round of the women's singles, while Scott Evans lost to No2 seed Brice Leverdez of the Netherlands in the second round of the men's singles.

Dublin's Terenure Badminton Centre is the venue for this weekend's Autumn Open with semi-finals and finals tomorrow.

Among the likely finalists are Scott Burnside and Jennie King, winners of the men and women's singles at the Mount Pleasant Open a few weeks ago, as well as the mixed doubles partnership of Daniel Magee and Fiona Glennon, and Keelin Fox and Sian Williams in the women's doubles.

SURFING: Weather and waves permitting, the European Surfing Championships began yesterday on the world-renowned surf breaks at Bundoran, with teams from 16 nations in action for the next 10 days.

A strong Irish squad includes medal hopes Easkey Britton and Shauna Ward, bodyboarders Shane Meehan and Ashleigh Smith, Irish Open men's champion Stephen Kilfeather, longboarders Stephen Kelleher and John McCurry, promising junior Ronan Oertzen, and "Waveriders" movie star Richie Fitzgerald, a veteran of the 1997 Eurosurf, also at Bundoran.

SNOOKER: With Irish No1 David Hogan returning to the international pro tour, Vincent Muldoon and Colm Gilcreest will lead the entry at the snooker's opening senior ranking tournament in the Ivy Rooms, Carlow next weekend (Oct 1/2).

Meanwhile, Monkstown's Robert Murphy not only captained the Irish men's senior team at the recent Home Internationals in Wales, but won all four of his matches. In a thrilling competition, Wales only came through for victory on the final day, when they beat Ireland 10-2.

Ireland retained their men's billiards title with Ireland B finishing second and taking the David Joyce shield for best overall performance.

TRIATHLON: Aileen Morrison finished fourth at the World Triathlon Championships race in Japan -- the best result by an Irish triathlete this year so far. Morrison started with her trademark strong swim, and after a good 40km cycle stage of 64 minutes 7 seconds and a 10km run of 34.48, finished in 1:59.48. That put her only half a minute behind the winner, Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand, and ahead of world champion Helen Jenkins of Great Britain.

In the men's race, Gavin Noble was forced to pull out on the run.

Winners of the Lost Sheep Half Ironman in Kenmare were Eoin Cummins and Joyce Wolfe.

SWIMMING: Sorcha Barry became the latest Irishwoman to swim the English Channel last week, crossing from Dover to France in 12 hours 2 minutes. It put the cap on a memorable summer in which six Dublin swimmers set themselves the target of completing an Ironman triathlon, a two-way Channel relay and two solo channel swims.

Kevin Thornton, Julie Galloway, Lucy Gaynor, Dave Farrell, Sorcha Barry and Susanna Murphy raised €12,000 for the National Rehabilitation Board.