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Irish duo suffer Olympics blow

Ireland's hopes of a place at the Olympic regatta hang by a thread as the lightweight double scull of Mark O'Donovan and Niall Kenny were eliminated in the semi-finals at Lucerne, Switzerland.

The sole remaining hope is Latvian-born sculler Sanita Puspure, who put in the race of her life to qualify for today's final. O'Donovan and Kenny finished fifth.


Second-year Spanish professional Jon Izagirre jumped into the limelight with a solo attack to win yesterday's stage of the Giro d'Italia.

The 23-year-old attacked from a day-long break of 10 riders on a steep climb close to the finish to claim victory on the 173km stage by 16 seconds.

Joaquim Rodriguez, who finished safely in the main bunch eight minutes 57 seconds behind, remains the overall leader.


light-flyweight Jason McKay will meet Muhammad Ali when Ireland take on England in Cork on Saturday night in preparation for next month's European Junior Championships in Bulgaria.

Luke Thomas, who claimed bronze at the 2011 European Junior Championships, will captain the Irish squad.

David Haye has rubbished claims from Vitali Klitschko's manager that he is 'afraid' of facing the Ukrainian heavyweight.

The former two-weight world champion has signed up to face Dereck Chisora on July 14 at Upton Park.

Bernd Boente, who manages Klitschko, said he had offered a contract to Haye, but claims he turned it down as he was scared of the 40-year-old.

Haye, though, insisted: "It makes absolutely no sense for me to turn down a fight I desperately want," he said. "The whole idea behind going ahead with this Chisora fight was that a victory may then lead to a fight with Vitali Klitschko.

"I will never turn down a fight with Vitali."


World No 7 Tomas Berdych served notice of his intentions for the Grand Slam season as he blew away Andy Roddick 6-1 6-2 at the World Team Cup in Dusseldorf yesterday.

Team-mate Radek Stepanek beat James Blake 6-2 6-1 to give the Czech Republic an unassailable 2-0 lead over the USA.

Irish Independent