Foster underlines class in China
DOUBLE Irish sprint champion Amy Foster (Lisburn AC) wrapped up a great few days at the World Student Games in Shenzhen by finishing seventh in the 200m final yesterday, WRITES CLIONA FOLEY.
The UUJ student, who came agonisingly close to also making the 100m final, was fourth in yesterday's 200m semi-finals in 23.61 seconds, just outside the new Northern Ireland record of 23.53 that she set in the second round.
And in the final she produced her second fastest time ever (23.58), despite running in her seventh race in four days.
"I couldn't have given any more in the final, my legs were wobbly at the end," the delighted Bangor sprinter said.
"I am really happy about making a World Championship final and setting a Northern Ireland record in the heats. This has been my best season ever and I am looking forward to even better things next year."
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The Irish management -- both men's and women's -- are desperately playing down the prospect of Olympic qualification from the European hockey championships which start in Germany today, WRITES DAVID MEDCALF.
"As far as we are concerned, this is just another tournament," is the line from men's manager Peter Jackson as his side prepared to meet England tomorrow morning.
But his players are very well aware that a good result against the English would propel them a giant step on the road to the London Games. Jackson reports no injuries in a squad which will need to perform at its best to defeat the reigning champions.
Meanwhile, the Irish women have been handed the most daunting of opening tasks in Monchengladbach.
They face hosts Germany, the nation that handed a painful 7-0 spanking to the girls in green at the last European championships two years ago.
Andy Murray was hardly at his best but did enough to book a semi-final spot at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati with a 6-3 6-3 win over Gilles Simon yesterday.
In baking conditions, the world No 6 struggled with his serve and his ground strokes at times before finding some consistency in the second set.
He will now meet Mardy Fish, a 6-3 6-4 conqueror of Rafael Nadal, in today's semi-final. Roger Federer also went down to a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) defeat to eighth seed Tomas Berdych in a match lasting just over 90 minutes
Women's fourth-seed Maria Sharapova booked her place in the last four with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Australian Samantha Stosur. She will face Russian second-seed Vera Zvonareva, who edged out Daniela Hantuchova 6-3 7-6.
Two-time defending US Open champion Kim Clijsters withdrew from the tournament yesterday because of a stomach muscle injury.