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Nevin claims another gold

BOXING: Irish light-welterweight Michael Nevin secured his second successive European gold at the Black Sea holiday resort of Anapa in Russia yesterday.

The Portlaoise BC ace - who won European Schoolboy gold in 2012 - beat Russia's Aleksei Semykin to top the 66kg European Junior Championship podium.

But Monaghan's Aaron McKenna had to settle for silver after controversially losing to Damiano Cordella in the 50kg final.

McKenna dominated his bout against the Italian fly, but the judges split for Cordella, a decision that left Irish coaches Billy McClean and Ger McDaid shaking their heads.

"We're disgusted with the decision and I made my views quite clear to the official in charge," McClean said.

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Golf: Graeme McDowell teed off in the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions contest overnight with just a single-shot lead.

The Northern Ireland golfer has led at the end of play on all three days of the tournament in Shanghai, but he saw his advantage cut by the unheralded Japanese player Hiroshi Iwata during yesterday's third round.

The 2010 US Open champion finished up on Saturday with an 11-under-par total.

The US Open winner Martin Kaymer and the holder of the Masters green jacket Bubba Watson are only two shots behind the 35-year-old from Portrush.

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RUGBY: New Zealand-born flyhalf Kelly Haimona kicked 14 points on his full debut as Italy beat Samoa 24-13 to put their disastrous Six Nations and summer tour of the South Pacific behind them.

A shaky Italy went in for the half-time interval trailing 10-3 after flanker Jack Lam touched down for the Samoans just after the half hour mark.

At that point, it looked like the Italians could be about to lose their third game in a row to Samoa.

However, tries from Joshua Favaro (48) and Sergio Parisse (66), coupled with the strong kicking of Haimona, eventually saw the Azzurri home to victory.

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FRANCE ended a four-match losing streak when they routed Fiji 40-15, with winger Teddy Thomas scoring a hat-trick of tries on his Test rugby debut yesterday.

Thomas scored his first from the opening kick-off, and bagged the first three of France's five tries.

France led 14-0 at half-time, and when Fiji closed to within six points, Thomas' next two tries in as many minutes sent his side racing away at 26-8. France host Australia next weekend, while Fiji are set for a visit to Wales.

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YOUNG Munster moved to third in the Ulster Bank AIL table thanks to their 29-20 bonus-try win against Ballynahinch at Clifford Park.

A penalty try clinched the bonus after the sides were level 15-15 at the interval.

Ger Slattery, Edward O'Keeffe and Willie Staunton touched down for Young Munster, with Gearóid Lyons also kicking a penalty and three conversions.

Steven McAuley, Steven Honey and Mike Graham notched up the points for Ballynahinch, with Richard Reaney converting McAuley's try and also landing a penalty.

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Olympics: America's Olympic Committee has received support from one of the most influential men in the Olympic movement for its mooted bid for the 2024 summer games.

Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, president of the Association of National Olympic Committees, said yesterday that the time was right for the US to push ahead with the plans. And he added that he believed they had a great chance of winning the right to hold the Games.

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Moto GP: Valentino Rossi won his first pole position in more than four years - and the fiftieth of his career - by clocking the fastest time in qualifying for the Valencia Grand Prix.

Rossi's Yamaha will be joined on the front row by the Ducati of fellow Italian Andrea Iannone, and by Dani Pedrosa on a Honda, for the final race of the season.

World champion Marc Marquez managed to qualify in fifth despite suffering a fall during the session.

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BASKETBALL: Leaders Demons continued their unbeaten run last night with a 104-84 win over Marian in Belfield.

The visitors twice had twice turned over UCD's defence shortly after the restart, with Colin O'Reilly and Lehmon Colbert and Shane Coughlan taking Demons lead out to 11 by the end of the third.

Vincents, meanwhile, needed overtime to defeat Dublin Inter, with Martin Provizors shooting a two-pointer with five seconds to go to take the game into an extra period.

A three from Mark Nagle with two minutes remaining proved decisive as Vincents won out 100-90 to remain in contention for a play-off spot.

The other game saw Ricky Taylor shoot star to a 69-64 win over Limerick ahead of this afternoon's bottom of the table clash between Star and Templeogue at the arena.

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Badminton: One of the world's best badminton players has failed a drugs test and is facing a possible two-year ban from the sport.

Lee Wei Chung has been suspended while awaiting a hearing. The 33-year-old is believed to have failed a test at the World Championships over the alleged presence of a form of steroid.

Meanwhile, Ireland continued their winning streak with a 5-0 victory over Slovakia yesterday and are now just one match away from qualifying for the European Mixed Team Championships in February.

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FORMULA 1: Nico Rosberg completed a Brazilian Grand Prix practice hat-trick by lapping faster than Mercedes team-mate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the third and final session.

Rosberg was fastest in both sessions, with Hamilton second. Hamilton leads Rosberg by 24 points with two races to go but 75 points to be won due to double being awarded in the Abu Dhabi finale.

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SHINTY/HURLING: Ulster claimed the Iomain Colmcille shinty-hurling title for the first time after a 2-8 to 1-3 win over Scotland in Glasgow.

Despite awful weather, the competition was an entertaining affair. The sides were level at 1-3 at half-time, but with former Antrim seniors Áinle Ó Cairealláin and Colm Duffin on their side, Ulster kicked on in the second half.

They held their opponents scoreless on the restart, with Oisín Mac an Bhocaire netting their second goal on the way to a historic win.

Sunday Indo Sport