Sports digest


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

Lynch finishes third after Valencia jump-off

EQUESTRIAN:Denis Lynch picked up €43,000 for his third place finish in Saturday night’s Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Valencia.

Riding Thomas Straumann’s 12-year-old bay gelding Abbervail van het Dingeshof, the 36-year-old was one of five riders who got through to the third round jump-off where he lowered one pole as Britain’s Ben Maher (Tripple X III) and Michael Whitaker (Viking) were clear again to finish first and second in 41.35 and 42.17 respectively.

Earlier in the day, Billy Twomey, who won the Grand Prix at the Spanish venue last year, and Mark McAuley finished fourth and fifth on Romanov and Par Trois behind the host nation’s Sergio Alvarez Moya and the chesnut mare Kisby.

O’Sullivan firmly in command of World Championship final

SNOOKER:Ronnie O’Sullivan was last night threatening to pull away from Ali Carter in the Betfred.comWorld Championship final.

Although Carter took the last frame of the session, the pre-match favourite O’Sullivan leads 10-7 and has put himself in a strong position to repeat his Crucible triumph of 2008 over Carter. Eighteen frames is the target for the title, with the match due to finish this evening.

O’Sullivan hit a purple patch of form at the end of the opening afternoon session which illustrated the difference between the players.

A sprint to 92 was followed by a total clearance of 141 in the final frame as Carter slipped 5-3 behind in their all-Essex tussle.

O’Sullivan has revealed this match could be his last before retiring, the prospect of retiring at the pinnacle of the sport, with a fourth world title, holds considerable appeal to the 36-year-old from Chigwell.

O’Sullivan moved 9-5 clear with runs of 49 and 68 and a sprinkling of low breaks. Carter, cut into the lead with a 59 break, but a swift 62 from O’Sullivan restored the four-frame cushion.

Victory for O’Riordan

MOTOR SPORT:Darragh O’Riordan and co-driver Tony McDaid have won the Cartell.ieRally of the Lakes in Killarney.

O’Riordan won the event in a time of two hours 10 minutes and 54 seconds, two minutes and 25 seconds ahead of Irish Tarmac championship leader Darren Gass.

O’Riordan had held a 32 second lead overnight after benefiting from Tim McNulty’s retirement on Stage four while leading on the first day. The Cork driver picked up where he left off in Killarney this morning recording fastest times on the first four stages ahead of second placed Eugene Donnelly.

Battling win for Mayweather

BOXING:Floyd Mayweather Jr added the WBA Super World light-middleweight title to his supreme career roster with a battling unanimous points victory over Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas. Mayweather, fighting at the 154lb limit for the first time since defeating Oscar De La Hoya to win the WBC belt exactly five years ago, won favour by margins of 118-110 and 117-111 (twice) on the judges’ scorecards to preserve his unblemished 43-fight record.

Attentions will once again turn towards the prospect pairing Mayweather with pound-for-pound rival Manny Pacquiao, but the 35-year-old American must first serve a three-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge.

Colvert breaks U-23 100m record

ATHLETICS:Steven Colvert of Crusaders AC has broken the Irish under-23 100 metre record running 10.35 to win his race at the Occidental Invitational in California, the record previously held by Para-Olympian Gold medallist Jason Smyth.

This improved on Colvert’s personal best of 10.45 which he set early in the week at the Steve Scott Invitational in San Diego. Colvert also won his 200m race in 20.77, just one hundredth off his personal best.

At the same meet Paul Hession (Athenry) placed sixth in his 100m race in 10.64 and recorded a time of 21.44 in the 200m.

Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny AC) produced another excellent performance to finish second in the 400m in Golden Grand Prix in Kawasaki, Japan, in 51.78.

Olympic champion Usain Bolt held his nerve after two false starts by competitors and powered to the year’s fastest 100 metres at the Jamaica International Invitational on Saturday. The 100 and 200 world record holder clocked a dazzling 9.82 seconds in his first individual race of 2012, exploding from the blocks to take control at 40 metres.

Sanita Puspure finished fifth at the World Cup Regatta in Belgrade in the single scull and handed Ireland real prospects of having at least one boat at the Olympic Games in London, writes Liam Gorman.

In yesterday’s A Final, Puspure (30), a Lithuanian who is settled with her family in Co Cork, started brightly in the early stages – she was second at 500 metres – but then let the stellar field go and finished fifth of five.

Puspure real achievement came in a well-judged semi-final performance on Saturday. Xiuyun Zhang of China and world champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic powered away to take first and second – as they would again in yesterday’s final – but Puspure held off Kaisa Pajusalu of Estonia to nab the third qualification place.

The other Ireland boat bound for the qualifiers is the lightweight double of Mark O’Donovan and Niall Kenny. They found the going tough in Belgrade. They were pushed into fifth in the C Final (17th overall) on Saturday: they looked set for third until Slovenia and Croatia mounted late charges to take third and fourth.