Monday 18 December 2017

In brief: Duo ruled out for Chinese rematch


European Union and Irish Elite champion Con Sheehan and ex-Irish Elite champion Philip Sutcliffe are both out of tonight's clash with China at the Dungarvan Sports Centre in Waterford through injury.

Tipperary heavyweight Sheehan picked an ankle knock at the Irish training camp in Templemore last week, and Sutcliffe will miss the 12-bout match with a hand injury.

The duo have been replaced by John Sweeney and Craig McCarthy as Ireland go head-to-head with the Chinese for a second time following Sunday's 9-3 win in Wexford.

Katie Taylor faces Cheng Dong looking to post her fifth win -- Taylor beat Dong 6-2 in Wexford -- on the trot over the world No 2.

Both nations will meet for a third time at the National Stadium in Dublin on Friday.

Meanwhile, Sofya Ochigava has entered the Usti Nad Labem Multi Nations, which began yesterday in the Czech Republic. The Russian controversially beat Taylor in the tournament last year.


An Post Sean Kelly will be aiming to maintain their excellent form in two races in Belgium with the Dwars door Vlaanderen today followed by the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen--Harelbeke on Sunday.

Niko Eeckhout will be competing in both races. He will be joined by Irishmen Philip Lavery and Mark Cassidy in today's team line up.

Team manager Kurt Bogaerts is positive Eeckhout and the team can keep performing, saying: "Niko's form has been exceptional and last Friday he just missed out on the stage win. His fitness is spot on, so if he manages to avoid injuries and gets good rest in between races I don't see why the good results won't continue."

Formula 1

Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone says there is growing support for using sprinkler systems to wet F1 tracks to make races more entertaining.

Despite opposition from drivers, Ecclestone said: "There's no reason why sprinklers shouldn't happen. There's so much support because wet races are always the best by far."

Ecclestone also suggested McLaren's English duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could "struggle" this season. McLaren have been off the pace of front-runners Red Bull and Ferrari in practice, with the season-opening Australian Grand Prix set to take place in Melbourne on Sunday.


England batting coach Graham Gooch says the team will not fear playing Sri Lanka in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

England reached the knockout stages after a series of stuttering performances while Sri Lanka will be playing at home.

"Sri Lanka in their own country are a top team with world-class players," said Gooch. "But England won't fear them, they'll look forward to competing with them."

Irish Independent

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