Thursday 18 January 2018

In brief: Gargan, Grace on medal trail

Boxing

IRELAND'S Christiana Gargan and Clare Grace guaranteed themselves bronze medals at the European Youth and Junior Women's Championships with quarter-final wins in France yesterday.

Belfast light-flyweight Gargan, boxing in the Junior event, beat Ulku Demir of Turkey 6-0, and Grace defeated Andrianna Muszynska of Poland 13-10 at Youth level.

Light-welterweight Sarah Close was also in top form with a 10-2 verdict over Elif Kayan of Turkey, but Louise Donoghue lost out to French featherweight Sonia Druot.

Ireland have a 10-strong squad at the 17-nation tournament, which began in Calais yesterday.

Tennis

Caroline Wozniacki crushed Elena Dementieva 6-1 6-1 at the WTA Championships in Doha yesterday to serve up a timely reminder to critics of her world No 1 ranking.

The Dane wrapped up the Maroon Group opener in just 53 minutes.

In the White Group, world No 2 Vera Zvonareva saw off Jelena Jankovic 6-3 6-0 to keep alive her slender hopes of grabbing the year-end No 1 spot from Wozniacki.

In the day's last match, Sam Stosur beat Francesca Schiavone 6-4 6-4 to gain a measure of revenge for her defeat in the French Open final in June.

Sam Barry yesterday made light of a difference of 429 places in the world rankings at the ITF Futures event in Crete.

The Limerick 18-year-old, the world No 1,264, clinched a spot in the second round with 7-6 (7/2) 6-2 win over 835-ranked Jiri Kosler. Barry now faces 738-ranked Nikola Cacic in the second round.

James McGee and Barry King pulled out of their opening-round matches because of injury.

Athletics

World record-holder Usain Bolt has resumed training after his outdoor season was cut short due to injury.

"Training has started and the good news is that I am 100pc healthy and am completely over my back and Achilles problems from the summer," the Jamaican revealed yesterday.

"I am really enjoying training. For the first time in my career I was looking forward to getting back into training before my end-of-season break was over.

"I am looking forward to defending my 100 and 200m titles at the World Championships in Korea next year and I know the importance of putting in the work required."

Irish Independent

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