Wednesday 13 December 2017

In brief: Wight facing cancer battle

Sean wight, the first player to be recruited from Gaelic football by an AFL club, is undergoing chemotherapy in Australia after learning that he has cancer, WRITES Daragh O ConchUir.

Kerryman Wight was a long-time clubmate of Jim Stynes, who has had his own battle with cancer in the past two years and is supporting Wight. "Who would have thought he'd end up basically like me," said Stynes. "I was shocked. I just couldn't believe it. I thought to myself, 'This just can't be happening'."

Born in Glasgow, Wight quickly took to football when his family moved to Kerry and was on the county minor team that reached the All-Ireland final in 1982. The high-fetching midfielder impressed the watching Melbourne coach Ron Barassie, who offered the youngster a shot at the VFL (the precursor to the AFL).

The 46-year-old is a member of Melbourne's Hall of Fame and was named as one of the 150 'Heroes of the club' during its 150th anniversary celebrations.

SPECIAL Olympics Ireland received a grant of €265,000 from the Sports Council yesterday to fund their participation in the World Summer Games in Athens this summer.

The organisation was hardest hit in the grant cuts to Irish sports federations earlier this year but, as promised, have now received a supplementary allocation to fund their team of 126 athletes and 49 coaches. Ireland hosted the World Games in 2003.

A raft of overnight updates propelled Michael Schumacher to the quickest lap in Formula One testing at Barcelona this pre-season.

Schumacher remarked on Thursday that he felt his Mercedes was not yet capable of winning grands prix, although admitted to improvements as each test session had passed.

On the penultimate day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, and with the W02 sporting a new front wing, revised brake ducts and improved bargeboards, Schumacher hit the front in style. Executing a series of one-lap qualifying runs, Schumacher posted a best of one minute 21.25 seconds, half a second faster than any other driver over the previous seven test days at the track.

With rain forecast for the final day today, Schumacher made way late on for Nico Rosberg to sample the revamped car, and he ended up third with a 1:21.79.

Sandwiched in between was Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who finished 0.37 seconds adrift of seven-times champion Schumacher, with the Spaniard completing an astonishing 141 laps overall.

Renault continue to look strong, with Nick Heidfeld fourth on the day and just over eight-tenths of a second off Schumacher. Williams' Rubens Barrichello finished within a second of former Ferrari team-mate Schumacher, with Kamui Kobayashi in his Sauber sixth quickest and Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari seventh.

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