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In brief: Powerful Taylor takes semi spot

Katie Taylor advanced to the semi-finals of the Strandja Multi-Nations with a 7-0 win over Danuse Dilhofava of the Czech Republic in Pazardjik, Bulgaria, yesterday.

Taylor, the world lightweight champion, who had beaten Dilhofava on two previous occasions, will now meet English southpaw Natasha Jones in today's semi-finals.

Dublin middleweight Sinead Kavanagh received a bye into the last four and will face Tamara Garcia of Spain at the 22-nation men's and women's tournament.


Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone will wait until after the weekend before deciding on whether to cancel next month's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The deteriorating political situation in the island kingdom yesterday forced the cancellation of the GP2 Asia Series races scheduled to take place at the Bahrain International Circuit this weekend.

A decision on whether it goes ahead rests with Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt and the race organisers in Bahrain, as well as Crown Prince Salman ibn Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa.

Ahead of the Grand Prix, F1 is due to descend on Bahrain in less than a fortnight's time for the final pre-season test session, scheduled to run from March 3-6.


Stephen Hendry compiled the 10th tournament maximum break of his career in the opening frame of his Wyldecrest Park Homes Welsh Open clash with Stephen Maguire in Newport last night.

Hendry held his nerve to pot a difficult pink and nudge in the black to equal the career record set by Ronnie O'Sullivan, whose maximum in the 12Bet.com World Open last year was also his 10th.

Hendry (42) is the seventh player to hit a maximum break this season alone, following O'Sullivan, Kurt Maflin, Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon, Barry Hawkins, Mark Williams and Rory McLeod.


UEFA was last night accused of "disgraceful exploitation" of supporters after it announced that tickets for the Champions League final at Wembley will be the most expensive in the competition's history.

Around 11,000 tickets set aside for neutral fans will cost £150 (€178), £225 (€267) and £300 (€356), with each pair of tickets subject to an administration fee of £26 (€31). This will take the cost of four tickets in the cheapest category (category C) to £652 (€775).

The cheapest tickets for fans of the two clubs contesting the final will be £80 (€95), but UEFA did not specify how many of the 50,000 seats they will share will be in that price bracket.

The prices represent an increase of around 15pc in each category on the prices for last year's final in Madrid and means that the cost of attending the show-piece fixture has almost doubled since 2009.

Irish Independent