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Irish fail to boost Nations standing

Irish riders got off to a great start at St Gallen in Switzerland yesterday morning with a Speed victory for Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon and runner-up spot in the highly-competitive 1.50m Jump-Off class for Dermott Lennon and Loughview Lou-Lou.

But the team failed to improve from the bottom of the FEI Nations Cup leaderboard when finishing sixth in the third leg of the series won by the Netherlands later in the day.

Lying second last with 16 faults already on the board at the half-way stage, following single errors from pathfinder Shane Sweetnam (Amaretto Darco) and anchorman Billy Twomey (Je Taime Flamenco), a double-error from Cian O'Connor (Blue Loyd) and nine faults from Jessica Kuerten (Voss), they managed to improve by one place when Kuerten went clear at her second attempt.

Meanwhile, the cross-country action begins at Tattersalls International Horse Trials today with Britain's Ruth Edge heading both the CIC and CCI 3-Star classes. Irish riders are in hot pursuit, with Camilla Speirs (Portersize Just a Jiff) chasing Edge (Two Thyme) in the CIC 3-Star and Sarah Wardell (Killeenduff) lying third in the CCI 3-Star.

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Usain Bolt is aiming to "wow" the world with his performances at the London Olympics.

Bolt got back into the groove on Thursday night with victory in the Rome Diamond League 100 metres in 9.76 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year. It was his fourth fastest time ever, with the previous three all world records.

Bolt will draw inspiration from London's Jamaican community during the Olympics, and has given a warning to rivals like Tyson Gay and Yohan Blake. "I know I can go faster because this is the start of the season -- I have a long way to go," Bolt said.


THE Superleague could be in for a massive revamp this summer if Basketball Ireland's radical shake-up is accepted by the clubs. The highlight of the plan is the prospect of the new league paying for 10 American players each season, with those players entering into a draft system.

Under the proposal, the league would no longer be split into two conferences and play-offs would be scrapped. Instead, the winner of a new 'League of Ireland', would be the team who finishes top of the table. Each team would play 27 games, 11 at home and 11 away with the other five to be played at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.

Irish Independent