Thursday 18 January 2018

Equestrian: Irish juniors eye bronze in France

The Irish Junior team are in bronze medal position going into the cross-country phase of the European Eventing Championships for Juniors and Young Riders at Jardy, France today.

And with an impressive dressage score of 42.90, Elizabeth Hayden and Miracle are in individual fifth place, and less than four marks off the individual leading score.

With 47.70 for Joshua Pim (The Irish Minstrel), 47.90 for Harold Megahey (Chuckleberry) and 48.50 for Cathal Daniels (Rioghan Rua) the Irish are closely stalking the British, but are over 14 penalty points off the leading Germans, who hold the top three individual placings.

Germany also hold the lead in the Young Riders team event. The Irish squad are in sixth after dressage.

In showjumping, Denis Lynch lines out in today's Global Champions Tour leg at Lausanne, Switzerland along with Cameron Hanley and Mark McAuley.

Irish showjumping suffered a great loss this week with the death of Damian Gardiner, the US-based Mayo man who galloped to Ireland's rescue at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 when Captain John Ledingham's Kilbaha had to be withdrawn at the last moment.

Gardiner was part of the team that finished eighth there. Two years later he won the Finova Grand Prix. The 44-year-old rider from Crossmolina was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus earlier this year.

India fast bowler Shantha Sreesanth has been banned for life following his part in the Indian Premier League spot-fixing controversy.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed the sanction against 30-year-old Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals team-mate Ankeet Chavan after its disciplinary committee held a hearing with the players in New Delhi yesterday.

Punishments were also meted out for bookie Amit Singh, who is banned from associating with the BCCI for five years, while Siddarth Trivedi was given a year's suspension for his failure to report an approach.

The case against Harmeet Singh, who had also been charged with failing to report an approach, was dismissed due to an absence of evidence.

A ruthless Rafael Nadal made a seamless transition from hard court to clay when he crushed Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 6-0 6-0 6-4 to give Spain a commanding 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup World Group play-off in Madrid.

Turning out for his country only four days after his US Open triumph in New York, the world No 2 showed no sign of fatigue or sympathy for his 92nd-ranked opponent Stakhovsky as he dismantled the Ukrainian.

Clubbing winners apparently at will on the Manolo Santana showcourt, Nadal put Spain firmly in control following Fernando Verdasco's 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-2 success against Ukrainian No 1 Alexandr Dolgopolov in the opening singles rubber.

Irish Independent

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