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Cuddihy must await verdict

ATHLETICS: Caitriona Cuddihy's appeal against her deselection from Ireland's 4x400m relay team for the Olympics will be heard by the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) on Thursday.

She will be informed of the result by Monday at the latest, which is only five days before the Games begin.

The Kilkenny runner, who has been training abroad for the past week, will run at the annual Cork City Sports tonight (8.30).

Joanna Mills has taken Cuddihy's place on the plane to London.

ó Lionáird returns for Cork warm-up

ATHLETICS: Local hero Ciarán Ó Lionáird will make his long-awaited return to competition in the mile race in Cork tonight, indicating he has recovered his fitness in time to take his place on Ireland's team for London.

The Leevale star finished 10th in the 1500m at the World Championships last year.

The Cork meeting, which has returned to a mid-week fixture this year, is also expected to feature several more London-bound athletes in Rob Heffernan, Olive Loughnane, Marian Heffernan, Fionnuala Britton, Joanne Cuddihy and Stephanie Reilly. Racing starts at 6pm, with the mile scheduled for 8.30pm.

Kirwan installed as Auckland's coach

Rugby: Former All Blacks winger, and Italy and Japan rugby coach John Kirwan has been appointed head coach of the Auckland Blues Super 15 team, replacing Pat Lam who has been sacked after four years.

The 47-year-old Kirwan will take over the role next month on a two-year deal. Kirwan, who played 63 tests for the All Blacks, said he was honoured to lead the Blues "in what I hope will be a new era of success and innovation."

Basketball: The US men's team eased past Brazil 80-69 in an exhibition game last night, but their sluggish play and spotty shooting should banish any thoughts they will waltz to another Olympic gold medal in London. LeBron James scored 30 to lead the Americans.

Tennis: Sixth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia lost 6-4, 7-5 Poland's Ursula Radwanska in the first round of the Mercury Insurance Open yesterday.

MLB: NY Yankees 6 Toronto 3, Detroit 8 LA Angels 6, Boston 5 Chicago White Sox 1, Tampa Bay 2 Cleveland 3, Miami 5 Washington 3, Cincinnati 3 Arizona 5, Milwaukee 2 St. Louis 3, Kansas City 4 Seattle 9, Minnesota 19 Baltimore 7, Colorado 5 Pittsburgh 4, San Diego 0 Houston 2, LA Dodgers 2 Philadelphia 3.