Monday 18 December 2017

O'Brien beats Smith's record


DUBLINER Shauna O'Brien finished off her outstanding campaign at the Irish Short Course Championships in Lisburn with another national record in the 50m butterfly. The 19-year-old broke her own record, taking gold in 27.14.

On Saturday night, she beat Michelle Smith's 18-year-old 100m butterfly record of 59.99, racing home in a time of 59.38, just 20 minutes after winning the 50m freestyle in 25.89.

Andrew Meegan became the first Irishman to swim under eight minutes in the 800m freestyle, lowering his own record to 7:59.92, while 12-year-old Antoinette Neamt raced to gold in the 1500m free in an Irish junior record of 16:40.22.

Grainne Murphy picked up her third gold medal of the championships in the 400m individual medley with a time of 4:52.73, while Brendan Hyland also brought his national title tally to three in 4:21.38.

In the men's 100m backstroke, Brian O'Sullivan set his sixth Irish junior record of the weekend with 54.17.

JESSICA KUERTEN jumped back into the international winner's enclosure by riding Contadoor to victory in the Accumulator at CSI 3-Star in Maastricht.

In Enschede, 14-year-old Susan Fitzpatrick won the Pony Grand Prix. Riding Rock Dee Jay, on which she secured individual gold at this summer's European Pony Championships in Italy, the Kilkenny youngster outpaced Britain's Charlie Dawson to head the line-up, while Michael Pender also jumped double-clear to claim 10th place with Sandlings Surreal.

Alistair Cragg finally completed his first marathon yesterday but his time in Fukuoka, Japan was a lot slower than he would have hoped.

He was just 30 seconds behind the leaders when he got through the first half in 1:04.25 but suffered badly in the latter stages and finished in 26th place in a time of 2:23.05.

Ireland's Olympic marathoner Mark Kenneally failed to finish, dropping out after completing 35km in 1:52.32. Kenya's Martin Mathathis won the race in 2:07.66.

Killorglin driver Timmy Lynch scored his first win in a Hewison Autotest Championship round at Mondello Park in an exciting finish to the Howard Wilde Memorial event, with Peter Falvey just 2.5 seconds behind. Guy Foster took third place, ahead of Darren Quille.

Jonathan Ralph also took his maiden victory – his Suzuki was well clear of regular Sporting Trial winner Alan Kilkenny in MEC's event near Blessington to take the Kilkenny Cup.

Northern clubs suffered a mass cull and Munster interest in the men's Irish Senior Cup was extinguished. Six Leinster versus Ulster second-round fixtures resulted in comfortable wins for Dublin-based teams. Three Rock Rovers hit seven at Belfast Harlequins.

Irish Independent

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