Sports Digest

A round-up of today's other stories in brief

A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Strauss hits back at critics with 61 knock

GRAEME SWANN believes Andrew Strauss answered some of his critics after his half-century helped England take a grip on the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

The under-fire skipper made 61 as England reached the close on day two on 154 for one and in sight of Sri Lanka’s 275.

While it meant Strauss is still without a Test century in 24 innings his patient knock helped set up a strong position, aided further by Alastair Cook’s unbeaten 77, as England look to level the two-Test series.

“He proved himself today, he got another good start, and he’ll be kicking himself he got 50 and didn’t go on,” Swann said.

“We’re very happy. He’s been having a few questions asked of him in the media. Everyone is behind him.”

Asked if he thought the media pressure on Strauss was justified, Swann added: “Personally I don’t, I’m Andrew Strauss’ greatest ally. I think we should let him get on with scoring the hundreds he will undoubtedly do.”

Rowing Ireland relaunch popular league series

THE POPULAR Grand League series of rowing regattas received a major boost yesterday when Rowing Ireland relaunched them as the eFlow Go Row league, writes Liam Gorman.

Eflow are committed to the series for more than one year and it is understood the sponsorship is for a five-figure sum.

There are four regattas in the series – Dublin Metropolitan, Queen’s University, Skibbereen and Cork – and the latter two will be at the National Rowing Centre in Cork. Michael Ring, the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, who launched the the new leagues yesterday in Dublin, wished Rowing Ireland success with this year’s upgrade of the NRC.

The adjustable start from the Olympic Games venue of Dorney Lake will be installed at the NRC after the Games.

Heurteau and Rheinisch book qualifying places

CIARÁN HEURTEAU and Eoin Rheinisch nailed down places at the Olympic Qualifier for canoe slalom at last weekend’s selection races in Lucan, writes Liam Gorman.

The final place in the men’s K1 has to be confirmed: junior athlete Sam Curtis finished third behind Heurteau and Rheinisch, but Patrick Hynes, who finished fourth, has contested a touch on a gate. His objection will be considered in the next few days, according to Karl Dunne of Canoeing Ireland.

The three women’s K1 places go to Hannah Craig, Helen Barnes and Aisling Conlon. The qualifiers will be incorporated in the European Championships in Augusburg in Germany on May 10th to 13th. There are spots for boats from two countries which have not already qualified available in both men’s and women’s K1.

Dunne, who was recently appointed general manager of Canoeing Ireland, confirmed that under the Ireland selection policy whoever qualifies the boat will represent Ireland in London 2012.

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