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In brief: Irish trio lose out in semi-finals

Katie Rowland, Michaela Walsh and Austeja Accueita bowed out of the first AIBA Women's World Youth and Junior Championships following semi-final defeats in Turkey yesterday.

All three will be bringing home bronze medals.

Walsh, who boxes out of the Holy Family BC in Belfast, agonisingly lost out by a one-point margin in her World Youth last-four duel with Germany's Ornella Wahner.

The 17-year-old Ulster featherweight was ahead going into the fourth and last round, but Wahner claimed the final frame 5-3 to post an 18-17 win.

European silver-medallist Rowland, also boxing in the World Youth event, lost 14-11 to Frida Stenholm of Sweden in the 51kg decider. Accueita, of the Finn Valley BC in Donegal, was beaten 16-3 by Agnes Alexiusson of Sweden in the 60kg World Junior semi-final.


Sycerika McMahon scooped three gold medals on the opening night of the Irish long-course championships at the National Aquatic Centre.

A medallist at the European Junior Championships last year, McMahon started the gold rush in the 200m freestyle, finishing in a new Irish junior record of 2:00.79 ahead of Olympian Melanie Nocher, six years her senior.

The teenager dominated the 200m butterfly from start to finish, winning in 2:15.82 ahead of Lorna Cummings, 2:17.75.

The hat-trick was completed when the 16-year-old, who trains at the Belfast club Leander, won the 50m breaststroke in 32.74.

Beijing Olympian Aisling Cooney broke the Irish senior 100m backstroke record in the semi-finals, clocking 1:01.87, 0.37 quicker than the previous record and just 0.17 away from the qualifying time for this summer's World Championships. Today she will hope to hit the mark in the final.

McMahon's clubmate Conor Donnelly won the 1500m free in 16:09.35, while Niall Wynn of St Paul's took gold in the men's 200m butterfly, surging clear to win 2:03.57 ahead of 16-year-old Brendan Hyland.


Ireland's Julia Moriarty yesterday shocked the No 6 seed to earn a quarter-final place in the ITF event in Bournemouth.

Unseeded Moriarty was all at sea in the opening set, losing it 6-1 to Germany's Bianca Koch in the outdoor claycourt tournament. But the 745-ranked Australian-born player raised her game to win 1-6 6-3 6-0 against her 634-ranked rival.

Moriarty, who spearheads the Ireland challenge in next week's Fed Cup campaign in Egypt, today takes on 934-ranked Romana Caroline Tabak.

Elsewhere, Moriarty's Fed Cup team-mate Amy Bowtell lost 6-1 6-7 (3/7) 6-1 to Martina Gledacheva in San Severo, Italy.

Irish Independent