Wednesday 21 February 2018

Irish show class in French foray

SAILING

The opening European regatta of the Olympic classes became a distant bad memory for the Providence Team IRL sailors at Hyeres in the south of France over the weekend.

Barely two weeks after the Princess Sofia Trophy, London 2012 veterans Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern were on the podium collecting silver medals in the 49er skiff class.

The pair nailed their performance from early on in the week and steadily improved even in Saturday's medal race finals to win silver.

Annalise Murphy showed her class in the Laser Radial single-handed class.

Race wins and top-three places during the week ensured she not only returned to the Gold fleet but also qualified for the medal race finals, though a few less than ideal results in some early races meant she was out of the hunt for the podium.

YOUNG Irish slalom canoeist Liam Jegou won a silver medal in the men's C1 at the Junior World Championships in Penrith, Australia.

He reached his third final at this level by finishing sixth in qualifying and only Germany's Florian Breuer finished faster than him. Jegou, whose mother is from Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, lived in Ireland until he was seven when the family moved to his father's native France.

He finished fourth in the Junior World Championships in 2012 and sixth last year, but this was his first podium finish.

World heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko easily retained his WBO crown when he knocked out Alex Leapai of Australia in the fifth round on Saturday.

The 38-year-old Klitschko, who holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO crowns, has now been unbeaten for 10 years with his most recent defeat back in April 2004 against Lamon Brewster.

The Ukrainian, whose record now stands at 62 wins with 52 knockouts and three defeats, pummelled the hapless Australian in round five, knocking him down once again before a clean knockout with less than a minute left in the round.

Merrion missed the chance to take the outright lead in the Division 1 table when they lost six wickets chasing Pembroke's 77.

John Anderson seemed to have set up a maximum points victory with four wickets for last year's runners-up but the batting let them down in the game, held back to yesterday and switched to Claremont Road, before skipper Dom Joyce saw Merrion home with an unbeaten 23.

Their 22 points leaves them one behind Railway Union and Clontarf, the Sandymount side having produced the performance of the opening day with a 66-run defeat of defending champions The Hills at Milverton.

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