Tuesday 23 January 2018

In brief: Federer exits Monaco

Tennis Athletics

A completely out-of-sorts Roger Federer lost 6-4 6-4 to Austria's Jurgen Melzer in blustery conditions at the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals yesterday.

The Swiss ace had looked imperious in his previous two matches, but never got going against the seventh seed on the breezy shores of the Mediterranean.

Federer, who last won a tournament in Doha in early January, had looked on course for a possible final with world No 1 and defending champion Rafa Nadal, but his build-up to next month's French Open has now suffered a surprise blow.

Andy Murray set up a semi-final with Nadal after a 6-2 6-1 victory over Frederico Gil.

Olympic standards raised

QUALIFYING for the London Olympics got harder for Ireland's marathon hopefuls yesterday when the standards for 2012 were officially announced by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF), WRITES Cliona foley.

Olympic standards usually mirror those for the preceding World Championships, and it was expected that the IAAF would soften some of the ultra-high marks -- 2:17 (men) and 2:43 (women)-- they set for Daegu, South Korea, this summer.

Athletics Ireland were seeking 2:16 and 2:38 from Irish Athletes, but the IAAF have decided on 2:15 and 2:37, which means Ireland's marathon runners will have to run a minute faster to achieve their Olympic dream.

The IAAF have also raised the 'A' standard in the men's 200m (20.55) and women's 100m hurdles (12.96). This will not trouble Irish stars like Paul Hession and Derval O'Rourke, who have bests of 20.30 and 12.65, respectively.

Irish Independent

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