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Wildwater Pierce Salmon Leap's dreams Ellen's Irish ready to take on the World Lakehill pull together to win a thriller Warrior Ward, 16, is youngest champion Coyle out to strike first blow in Hungary Magic Meaney arrows his way to decider

CANOEING: Kevin Pierce of Wildwater Kayak Club beat Salmon Leap's Peter Egan in the men's senior race at the National Marathon Canoeing Championships held at Leixlip.

Pierce finished in 1 hour 14 minutes, with Egan winning the battle for second place from Mick Doyle third, Gary Mawer fourth and Pedro Lopez fifth. Veteran Malcolm Banks was sixth.

Salmon Leap's Sean McCarthy won the U18 race in a sprint for the line. Second was Liam Banks, also Salmon Leap, with Anthony Forristal of Thomastown Paddlers third. Wildwater's Brendan O'Brien won the veteran race from Noel O'Connell. In the K2 race Egan and John Simmons had a clear win over Mawer, and Lopez Joe Murphy and Tom Brennan of Salmon Leap were first in the U18 K2 race.



Ellen's Irish ready to take on the World

PARALYMPICS: Beijing Paralympic finalist Ellen Keane leads a strong Irish team at the World Paralympic Swimming Championships in Eindhoven, Holland next month. Of the eight swimmers selected, four competed at last year's European Championships in Iceland.

Keane, from Clontarf, Dublin, competes in the 100m breastroke, butterfly and 200m individual medley. From Ratoath, Co Meath, James Scully will go in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle. South Africa-based Gina Lourens competes in the gruelling 5km open water race as well as the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle.

Four swimmers from Ulster have made the team. They are Matthew Bell from Newtownards, Stephen Campbell from Cookstown, Jonathan Cummings from Coalisland and James Hamilton from Ballyclare. Also selected is Jonathan McGrath from Killaloe, Co Clare.



Lakehill pull together to win a thriller

TUG OF WAR: In a repeat of the 680kg final of a few weeks ago, Lakehill beat Boley in tug of war's 720kg championships at Rathowen, Co Westmeath. In a great contest, Lakehill only won through on the final pull. Killylough beat Gortletteragh for the bronze, while Ballygar from Co Galway defeated Lavalley from Co Mayo in the Division 2 final.

Connemara won the second round of the women's 435kg league while another Galway team, Thatch Bar from Ballygar, won the 405kg league. Clonmines from Co Wexford won the second round of the youth 6-a-side league defeating Mountain View from Co Meath in the final. Ballyhooly in Co Cork is the venue next Sunday for the novice 640kg and catchweight championships as well as the third round of the women's leagues.



Warrior Ward, 16, is youngest champion

KICKBOXING: Fight Club's Alexandra Ward, aged 16, became the youngest Irish full contact kickboxing champion when she beat Trish Roddy from Kildare in the women's heavyweight final at the IKF Kickboxing "Judgement Day" show in Dublin.

Ward, who has been training for seven years with Ken Molloy, has held three IKF light contact titles and also a WKA light contact title over the years. Last year, with help from double world champion Barbara Delaney, she became the British champion in her very first full contact fight.



Coyle out to strike first blow in Hungary

PENTATHLON: Natalya Coyle is first in action of the young Irish team at the European Modern Pentathlon Championships in Hungary. Coyle must make the last 18 in today's fencing, swimming, shooting and running disciplines if she is to make Saturday's final. So far this season, Coyle has finished 14th at the Junior European Championships, and 34th and 19th in two senior World Cups.

Eanna Bailey and Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe have a similar challenge when the men's qualification starts tomorrow. Bailey was 10th senior and fifth junior at the recent German Open Championships.

Lanigan-O'Keeffe narrowly missed out on qualification for the finals at the Mexico World Cup, despite studying for his A levels.

The team have spent the last few weeks training in Bath, England.



Magic Meaney arrows his way to decider

DARTS: Paddy Meaney made it to the final of the boys singles at the WDF Europe Youth Cup in Germany. There he lost 3-1 to Nick Kenny from Wales. Meaney and Dean Forde made the semi-finals of the boys pairs, where they lost to a Dutch team. Aoife Ryan lost to a Swedish player in the last 16 of the girls competition.

What's on

Canoeing: Development Wildwater Race, Clashganny Lock Gate, near Graiguenamanagh, Sat 3pm.

Rowing: National Championships (eights, fours; U14,U15, U16 sculling and quad), Farran Wood, Inniscarra, Cork, Fri/Sat Swimming (open water) Eddie Heron Memorial, Windsurfers' Pier, Dun Laoghaire, Sat, 3pm. Templeogue SC Open Race, Windsurfers' Pier, Dun Laoghaire, Sun, 4.45. Beginish Island 6km Swim, Valentia, Co Kerry, Sat. Round the Head 2.5k Swim, Clogerhead, Sat. Salthill Prom Series, Galway, tonight .

Tug of war: National Novice 640kg and Catchweight Championships and Women's Leagues round four, Ballyhooly, Co Cork, Sun.


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