Athletics Ireland switch gear sponsors to New Balance
ATHLETICS: Athletics Ireland has sealed a sponsorship deal with New Balance, the American sportswear brand, to provide international competition gear for all Irish athletes for the next three years.
The new deal comes despite the relatively poor showing of Irish athletes at last summer’s London Olympics, but is no doubt reinforced by the gold-medal performances of Fionnuala Britton and the Irish women’s team at last month’s European Cross Country in Budapest, and the continued success of Irish junior and other underage competitions.
It also ends the long association with Asics, who had sponsored Irish athletics for the last 23 years, taking over from Adidas, in 1989. New Balance have sponsored individual Irish athletes over the years, most notably John Treacy, who signed up with New Balance shortly before winning his Olympic marathon silver medal in 1984, and stuck with the company for the rest of his career.
Two years ago, New Balance also signed up junior runner Ciara Mageean, reportedly on a six-figure deal to run for three years, with the option of a fourth.
Armstrong stripped of 2000 Olympic bronze medal
CYCLING:Lance Armstrong was stripped of his 2000 Olympic Games cycling time trial bronze medal by the International Olympic Committee yesterday, continuing the once dominant American rider’s spectacular fall from grace after a doping storm.
“We have written asking for the return of the medal from the Sydney 2000 Games,” an IOC official told Reuters after the decision to take away the last major title held by the American.
The retired Armstrong had his seven Tour de France titles taken from him and was banned for life by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in October after several riders testified that he took drugs.
The UCI also stripped Armstrong, who had never failed a doping tests, of all results since August 1st, 1998.
The testimony came in a United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) report in which the 41-year-old’s former US Postal team was accused of running “the most sophisticated, professionalizsd and successful doping program that sport has ever seen”.
Armstrong, a cancer survivor who founded the Livestrong Foundation, had always denied wrongdoing and aggressively pursued anyone claiming he did.
Miracle shot sets it up for Robertson
SNOOKER/UK MASTERS:Defending champion Neil Robertson produced an incredible escape shot and converted it into a match-winning century as he saw off Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen in a high-class quarter-final.
With the match into a deciding frame, Allen put Robertson in all sorts of trouble when he ran through off a red to tuck in snug behind the yellow which was just off its spot.
Robertson’s only real chance of an escape was to target a red hanging over a top pocket, and Allen could do nothing but watch as his opponent went off the cushion and down to the pocket, clipping in the red and landing on the black.
From there Australian Robertson made a classy 105 to win the match 6-5.