Sports Digest


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

Five Irish compete in Leipzig

CANOEING: Five athletes will represent Ireland at the third Canoe Slalom World Cup in Leipzig in Germany, which begins today. Eoin Rheinisch, whose recovery from a serious shoulder operation has been going well, will be joined by Ciarán Heurteau and Patrick Hynes and Hannah Craig and Aisling Conlan, reports Liam Gorman.

Rheinisch’s focus is on the World Championships in Bratislava in September – the Olympic Qualification event – and he has just completed a week of seriously hard training at the venue. “I was shattered after it, but they are the kind of sessions I need to be getting intermittently,” he said yesterday. Rheinisch skipped last weekend’s World Cup at L’Argentiere in France, where Craig finished 16th.

The National Marathon Kayak Championships will be held this weekend at Salmon Leap club which celebrates its 50th anniversary. Ben Brown, the world marathon kayak champion, will compete at the event.

Busan ditch their 2020 Olympic bid

OLYMPIC GAMES: South Korea’s Busan has decided not to bid for the 2020 summer Olympics after the IOC’s decision to award the 2018 Winter Games to Pyeongchang made it “impossible” to win the hosting rights, the mayor of the southern port city said yesterday.

Busan Mayor Hur Nam-sik congratulated Pyeongchang for its successful bid, but the rustic mountain town’s success meant Busan had to change its plans, he added.

Pyeongchang had bid twice before and gone agonisingly close to victory before losing to Vancouver for the 2010 Games and to Sochi for 2014.

“Pyeongchang’s hosting the 2018 Winter Games makes our bid for the 2020 Summer Games impossible, so a change in strategy is inevitable,” added Hur.

Rome is the only city which has formally announced its intention to bid for the 2020 Games, while Japan will analyse the impact Pyeongchang’s success might have on their hosting ambitions.

Hatton calls time on 14-year career

BOXING: Britain’s former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton called time on his 14-year professional boxing career yesterday.

The 32-year-old has not fought since his IBO light-welterweight world title defeat by Manny Pacquaio in Las Vegas in May 2009.

Hatton’s announcement on his website signalled the end of a career in which he had a 45-2 record, with 32 knockouts at welterweight and light-welterweight.

However, after a career in which he regularly ballooned in weight before fasting dramatically for his fights, he lost his licence following allegations of cocaine use in 2010.

Since his last fight, Hatton has become a successful promoter.

Galea pleads guilty to steroid offence

DOPING: A doctor who helped Tiger Woods recover from a knee injury has pleaded guilty to bringing steroids and other unapproved substances into the United States. Anthony Galea, a Canadian, faces up to three years in prison.

The 51-year-old was charged last year with bringing in a series of drugs under false labels, including a form of human growth hormone called Nutropin.

Galea also lacked a licence to practise in the US.

Galea was said to have treated three unnamed past and present NFL players with the substances.

Woods was interviewed in connection with the charges against Galea, who treated the golfer following his knee operation in 2008. Woods told a press conference last year that Galea had not given him any performance-enhancing drugs.

Galea entered his guilty plea at a federal court in Buffalo, New York.

McMahon claims second gold in Belgrade juniors

SWIMMING: Leander’s Sycerika McMahon won her second gold medal yesterday at the European Junior Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. The teenage sensation smashed her own Irish junior record in the process, finishing in a time of 4:13.85, ahead of Britain’s Rachel Williamson (4:14.49) and Johanna Friedrich of Germany (4:14.59). The result was never in doubt, with McMahon leading throughout.

Also in action at the Tasmajdan Swimming Complex was Bangor SC swimmer Luke Campbell in the 100m freestyle. However, he finished outside his best in a time of 52.17, as did Conor Turner (Aer Lingus SC), who finished in 16:05.78 in the 1,500m freestyle. Philip Duffy (St Paul’s SC) and Nicholas Quinn (Castlebar SC) both competed in the heats of the 200m individual medley; Duffy finishing in a time of 2:11.89 and Quinn in 2:13.57. Neither progressed to the semi-finals. Five Irish swimmers will compete today, with McMahon swimming the 200m freestyle, where she is ranked first, and the 100m butterfly.

Bolt makes second bow

ATHLETICS: World record holder Usain Bolt makes his second 200m appearance of 2011 in tonight’s Diamond League event in Paris. The 24-year-old, who defends his World Championship titles in South Korea this month, ran 19.19 secs in the 2009 World Championship final in Berlin to set the 200m record. US world 100 metres silver medallist Tyson Gay had an arthroscopic procedure on his injured right hip on Tuesday and will not run again this year.