A round-up of today's other stories in brief
Wiggins happy to be back-up for Froome
CYCLING:Bradley Wiggins is ready to accept whatever decision Team Sky make over their leader for next year’s Tour de France.
Wiggins this year became the first British winner of cycling’s biggest event but the announcement of next year’s mountainous route appeared to play more to the strengths of Chris Froome, Wiggins’ back-up this year. Froome said: “The team are saying they are going to back me with the Tour this year. That’s directly from Dave . He said: ‘You’re our man for the Tour. Focus on it.”’
But team leader Brailsford has been more equivocal over the issue in recent days, opening up the possibility of Wiggins defending his title.
Wiggins said: “We’re very fortunate that we have two people that can win the Tour de France.
“Having two people equally as strong, trying to beat the likes of Contador and Andy Schleck, is going to work in our favour.
“It could be any one of us, it could be Chris Froome on the day, it could be me, but once we get on that line we all have a professional obligation. We saw this year what Chris did for me, it could be that I’ll be doing that for him next year for the team to win.”
Quigley takes middleweight title at Under-23 championships
BOXING:Donegal middleweight Jason Quigley was crowned European U-23 champion following a commanding 17-11 victory over German Elite champion Dennis Radovan in Russia yesterday.
But Hugh Myres had to settle for silver after he was edged out by a single point by Armenia’s 2009 AIBA World Junior champion Kariun Sogomonyan in Kaliningrad.
Quigley, boxing superbly on the counter, took the first two rounds 5-3 and 5-3 and also won the final frame 7-5 to seal an impressive win at the Sports Palace venue. The Finn Valley BC orthodox, the 2009 European Youth champion, whose dad Conor and Zuar Antia were working his corner yesterday, was delighted to collect his second European gold. “When I won the bronze here I was very happy to have my second European medal, but when you get to that stage you always want to change the colour and thankfully I did,” he said.
“I’ve had five hard fights out here. There’s grown men and Olympians at this tournament and it was very tough and competitive and I’m delighted to come through it and win gold.”
Hogan warns Tipperary 'ruthless' cost-cutting measures needed
GAELIC GAMES:Former Munster Council chairman Con Hogan has warned Tipperary GAA officials that they must be “cold and ruthless” in their proposed cost-cutting measures in 2013, as one Premier County delegate warned of potential “financial ruin” at last Monday evening’s annual convention.
Tipperary’s 2012 financial statement revealed a €246,939 loss for the year and follows a deficit of almost €220,000 revealed 12 months previously. In the last four years, Tipperary have revealed losses totaling over €650,000. Hogan, a former GAA trustee and Tipperary’s current representative on Croke Park’s Central Hearings Committee, expressed his disappointment with the financial statement.
There was better financial news from Wexford’s county convention, with the operating surplus for the year €118,056 compared to a deficit of €21,473 in 2011. When extraordinary items such as grants are taken into account, the net surplus for the year comes to €309,631 compared to a €90,285 net surplus for 2011.
McIlroy named as European Tour golfer of the year
GOLF:World number one Rory McIlroy was yesterday named the European Tour golfer of the year.
McIlroy succeeds Luke Donald as winner of the coveted award, having also replicated the Englishman’s previously unprecedented achievement of winning both the Race to Dubai and US PGA Tour money list in the same season.
The 23-year-old captured his second Major title in August, winning the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island by a record eight shots, matching the winning margin of his maiden Major triumph in the 2011 US Open.
McIlroy also won three times in America before playing a vital role in Europe’s stunning Ryder Cup victory at Medinah, while he ended the year in style with five closing birdies to win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
“Everyone who knows me knows how special the 2012 season was,” McIlroy said.
“We play golf because we relish the opportunity to win Major championships and world-class tournaments around the globe. But when we do that, to be recognised for these achievements is a great thrill and I thank all the members of the panel who voted for me.”
New York Jets crash out of contention
AMERICAN FOOTBALL:The New York Jets crashed out of AFC play-off contention with two late-game mistakes in a 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans late on Monday.
Driving downfield to Tennessee’s 23-yard-line for a comeback in the final two minutes, quarterback Mark Sanchez tossed his fourth and final interception of the night in one of the worst outings of his career.
A dreadful Titans punt gave the Jets one more possession starting at Tennessee’s 32, only to end their season with a fumbled snap.
“I saw him bobbling the snap, then it just came out and I just fell on it,” Titans linebacker Zach Brown said. “I was thinking I’m going to get a sack, but he fumbled the snap.”
The Jets (6-8) had won two straight games to revive their slim chance of reaching the post-season, but faltered in Tennessee (5-9) while the struggling Titans snapped their three-game losing streak.
Chris Johnson provided the game’s lone highlight with a 94-yard touchdown burst that gave Tennessee a 7-3 lead at half-time. He finished with 122 yards rushing.
Tennessee’s second-year quarterback Jake Locker threw for just 149 yards but avoided any turnovers.