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Zhang wins irish PRIZE!

BADMINTON: Although none of the local players made it to the finals, the Carlton 100th Irish Badminton Open at Baldoyle proved the most successful yet.

An entry of over 300 broke all records and put it among the biggest tournaments in Europe this year. At the elite end, both Beiwan Zhang, women, and Misbun Ramdan, men, proved worthy winners of the singles titles and are clearly two players to watch.

Zhang, a Singaporean competing for the USA, had taken a two-year break from the sport, but has cut quite a swathe since her return, winning the Welsh and now the Irish Open titles. Coincidentally she beat Spain's Breatiz Corrales in both finals.

As for Ramdan, who is from Malaysia, he has the advantage of having one of the best badminton coaches in the world as his father.

Irish interest ended when Chloe Magee went out to Zhang in the semi-finals, doing well to snatch even a few points from the American, who was playing her best badminton of the tournament.

A day earlier, Scott Evans' bid to retain the men's singles title was over when he lost his quarter-final match to Lukas Schmidt of Germany.

Irish interest in the doubles also finished in the quarter-finals.

Snooker: David Hogan made the quarter-finals at the IBSF World Championships in Latvia, where he came up against teen sensation Zhou Yuelong from China.

Aged just 15, Zhou beat Hogan 6-1 although the match was closer than the score would indicate.

There were no high scores and Hogan's 66 in the second frame proved the highest break. Zhou, who had earlier beaten Ireland's Brendan O'Donoghue, went on to take the title beating his compatriot Zhao Xintong.

In the masters competition, Mark Tuite also went out in the quarter-finals to the eventual champion – in this case, Phisit Chandsi of Thailand.

Locally, the Ivy Rooms in Carlow is the venue on Sunday for the third RIBSA Premier Tour ranking event.

Martin McCrudden currently tops the table after winning the second tour event and picking up good points in the first, won by Rodney Goggins.

fencing: Dublin resident Ido Ajzenstadt from Israel beat former champion Joao Cordeiro from Portugal to win the men's Epee FIE Satellite competition held in conjuction with the Irish Fencing Open in UCD.

Tied for third place were Alarico Bosio from Italy and Romanian Radu Andrei, another Dublin resident. In total, 45 fencers from 10 countries competed.

A high entry in the women's epee event was dominated by Rayssa Costa, who defeated her Brazilian teammate Cleia Guilhon in the final. Joint third were Pembroke's Olga Velma and pentathlete Natalya Coyle.

Winning the men's foil was Northern Ireland's David Alexander of Nottingham Cavaliers who beat Pembroke's Conor Nagle in the final. Dublin-based Portuguese Joana Ramalho defeated 16-year-old Viktoria Kralikova from Bratislava for the women's foil title.

Stephen Concannon of Salle Dublin successfully defended his men's sabre, with Niamh Spence from Derry best of the women.

squash: Defending champion Arthur Gaskin will play Conor O'Hare in the quarter-finals of the men's 'A' singles at the National Squash Championships in Fitzwilliam LTC, Dublin today.

O'Hare overcame Sean Conroy last night. Gaskin beat Michael Conroy. Irish No 1 Madeline Perry begins her campaign to win a 14th national title when she takes on Fiona Power in the women's quarter-finals. Power beat Niamh Maher comfortably last night. Should play go according to the draw, Irish U-17 champion Griffin Gillanders is Perry's likely opponent in the semi-finals later today.

Volleyball: In the opening round of the Association Cup, Tallaght Rockets went out when they lost to NUIG Galway 2-1. Garda Sirens lost to UCD in straight sets, while Munster Thunder beat Dalkey Devils. Defending champions Santry, along with DVC, winners of the Enniskillen Tournament last weekend, have byes to the quarter-finals.

In the men's opening round, Munster Thunder beat NUI Alliance 3-1, with South East Tigers to play Garda today in IT Carlow, DVC playing Garda 5.0 next Wednesday and Amber Coast facing the Ballymun Eagles on December 22. Ballymun X and Aer Lingus have byes to the quarter-finals.


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