Sports digest


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

Trickett eyes London Games

SWIMMING: Three-times Olympic swimming champion Libby Trickett has come out of retirement and is hoping to make Australia’s team at the London 2012 Olympics.

The 25-year announced her retirement in December after taking a break following last year’s World Championships in Rome, where she failed to win a gold medal. Trickett won three Olympic gold medals, one at Athens in 2004 and two in Beijing.

Pietersen apologises

CRICKET: Kevin Pietersen has apologised for the foul-mouthed tweet which followed his omission from England’s Twenty20 and ODI squads to face Pakistan.

The South African-born batsman’s poor form saw him dropped for the England squads to take on the tourists in five ODIs and two T20s yesterday.

Pietersen broke the news by posting a message on Twitter which said: “Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too. Its [sic] a f*** up!!” The outburst angered national selector Geoff Miller, who may still reprimand the 30-year-old for the incident.

Pietersen will play the remainder of the season at Surrey after the ECB brokered a loan deal between the London outfit and the batsman’s parent county, Hampshire.

Pietersen apologised for his comments: “It was something that wasn’t meant for the public domain and I apologise for it entering the public domain and I also want to apologise for the language I used.”

Canada fight back strongly as Irish miss their chance

CRICKET:Ireland failed to take full advantage of their dominant opening day as Canada fought their way back into the Intercontinental Cup clash in Toronto yesterday, writes Emmet Riordan.

Phil Simmons’s side started the day on 190 for four, a 70-run advantage, but could only muster another 71 runs.

Most of those came from the bat of Andrew White, who continued his fine form to move fourth on the list of Irish top run-scorers before becoming one of Henry Osinde’s five victims as he went for 84.

Osinde caused more damage by sending Ireland captain Trent Johnston to hospital with a cut to an eyebrow after a sharp delivery got through his helmet grille.

Behind by 141 runs, a 106-run partnership for the second wicket between Zubin Surkari (72) and Ruvindu Gunasekera (47) almost wiped out the deficit.

Fit to bowl again, Andre Botha snared them both to leave Canada on 169 for three in the final session of the day, a lead of 28 runs.

Farrar bides his time to take stage

CYCLING:Almost a year after winning his first stage of the Vuelta a España, American sprinter Tyler Farrar clocked up number two yesterday when he finished half a bike-length clear of Koldo Fernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Mark Cavendish (HTC Columbia) at the end of stage five.

Farrar profited from a tactical error by Mark Cavendish, with the 15-time Tour de France stage winner striking out much too far from the line. Farrar bided his time and then easily passed the HTC Columbia rider, who is normally the quickest sprinter in cycling.

Irish riders Nicolas Roche and Philip Deignan also finished in the large main bunch, with neither going for the sprint. Roche was near the front in 26th place. He remains a fine 11th overall, 58 seconds behind the ongoing leader Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto). Deignan, who is not at his best form due to illness, is 148th.

Ireland cruise into quarter-finals

GOLF:Ireland cruised into the quarter-finals of the European Senior men’s team championship at Fairhaven in Lancashire as top seeds yesterday when they continued their quest for a third title in four years.

With five cards counting on each of the first two days Ireland posted a total of 736 – six over par – to finish 10 strokes ahead of England, with Germany third and Scotland fourth.

That means they face Switzerland today for a place in the semi-finals and on the evidence of the stroke-play scores they should not have too many problems.

The legendary former Walker Cup captain and 1985 Amateur Champion Garth McGimpsey produced a good performance returning a 73 with halves of 35 and 38 – his card was spoiled slightly by a double bogey six on the 16th but he did recover with a birdie three on the next.