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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Mullen best of Irish in U23s

CYCLING: In a fast moving race at the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, Ryan Mullen was Ireland's top finisher in the U23 Men's Road Race.

Ireland entered a strong three man team in the 182km event, with all riders staying comfortably in the main group until the last five laps, when the pace came up. In the last lap attacks split the field apart, with Norway's Sven Erik Bystrom winning the World Title ahead of Caleb Ewan (Australia) and Bystrom's teammate Kristoffer Skjerping (Norway) winning bronze.

Mullen, who won a silver medal in the Time Trial on Monday, finished in 63rd position, with Conor Dunne a little further back in 72nd; Jack Wilson finished in 101st position.

Bouchard out for revenge

Tennis: A tournament plagued with falling seeds, withdrawals and retirements will at least enjoy a high-powered final after Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard set up a showdown at the inaugural Wuhan Open yesterday.

Canadian Bouchard will get the chance to avenge her crushing defeat by Kvitova in the Wimbledon final after she dispatched US Open runner-up Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-3. Czech Kvitova beat Elina Svitolina 6-3 7-5.

After local heroine Li Na announced her retirement from the sport on the eve of the tournament, world number one Serena Williams withdrew through illness and Maria Sharapova was bundled out by Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinszky.

South African in jail for ax killings

RUGBY: A former professional rugby player and U21 international in South Africa has been convicted on four counts of murder for a series of grisly ax killings.

Joseph Ntshongwana was also found guilty yesterday of two counts of attempted murder, one of assault with intent to commit GBH, one of kidnapping, and one of rape.

Ntshongwana played for the Pretoria-based Blue Bulls from 1998-2000, and was a member of South Africa's U21 squad in 1998 alongside Springboks greats John Smit and Victor Matfield.

Ntshongwana killed the four victims with an ax over a week in Durban back in 2011. Two of the victims were decapitated.

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