| 12.3°C Dublin

Perry primed to defend crown

Singapore win sets Madeline up for OpenSQUASH: Irish No1 Madeline Perry defends her title at the Australian Open in Canberra next week after a morale-boosting victory at the CIMB Singapore Masters.

After an early exit in the opening round of the Malaysian Open a week earlier, Perry was determined to make amends in Singapore.

Seeded at No3, she beat Sarah Klippax of England in the opening round and then Jaclyn Hawkes from New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

In the semi-finals, she came up against France's Camille Serme who had toppled former world No1 Rachael Grinham in her quarter-final match.

When Serme couldn't reproduce that form, Perry took advantage and booked her place in the final.

Facing her was British champion Laura Massaro. In her semi-final, Massaro had come from two sets down to beat Nicol David of Malaysia, the undisputed queen of world squash, for a second time this year.

A tired Massaro faced Perry in the final and quickly lost the first two games. She briefly threatened a revival when she won the third before Perry closed out the match in the fourth game for only a second ever title at this level.

Perry, seeded No4, plays Siti Munirah Jusoh of Malaysia in the first round of the Australian Open next Thursday.

TUG OF WAR: Wexford club Boley, founded by the Kehoe family, made it four in a row when they won the national 640kg tug of war title on home territory in New Ross.

In a tense final, they beat Mountain View from Louth. Clonmines, also from Wexford, defeated Binnian View to win the Division 2 title and also won the 600kg U23 championships.

Stapletons from Co Galway were taking their first ever national title when they beat Offaly team Killoughey in the 680kg novice final.

Ballinagh from Co Cavan won the fourth round of the youth league and now host the national 600kg championships tomorrow.

CANOEING: Wildwater's Aisling Smith proved the star of the Irish team at the Wildwater Junior World Championships in Opava, Czech Republic when she finished 9th in the women's K1 classic race.

Her time of 17 minutes 48.31 seconds put her 42 seconds behind the winner, Melanie Mathys of Switzerland.

In the men's K1 classic, Iomhar Mac Giolla Phádraig finished 23rd in 16:26.78. Daniel Grimes was 43rd and Bearach O Casaide 44th. In the K1 men's team race, the Irish were 12th, while Mac Giolla Phádraig finished 39th in the K1 sprint race.

MODERN PENTATHLON: Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe produced the best result of his career to qualify for the men's final at the Modern Pentathlon European Champion-ships in Medway, England , where the top eight booked their places for London 2012.

The 19-year-old from from Kilkenny, the first Irishman to make a final, finished 20th overall thanks to an excellent 10th in the swim, solid riding, running and shooting and improved fencing -- always the Irish weakness.

It moves him up to 73rd on the world rankings.

Natalya Coyle finished a creditable 30th in a closely fought women's final.

After the showjumping, Coyle was just over a minute off the crucial eighth position, but tiredness took over on the combined shooting and running discipline, and although she shot well, she couldn't improve on her 30th place.

The Irish team's next target is September's World Championships in Moscow.

BADMINTON: New, old and recycled players of all ages are welcome at the "Back to Badminton Tournament" in Dublin's Whitehall Road Badminton Centre on Sunday August 14 (2pm). Children are also welcome with A "Kids' Challenge Test" and face painting on offer.

Entry €5. Info 01-4508101 or leaguesandcups@lbbui.ie.

DARTS: A €350 cheque will go to the winner of the Swords Open Singles darts competition in the Manor Inn, Swords, on Saturday August 20th. A youths competition is also scheduled. Closing date for entries in August 18. Info Brendan Barry 086-1682811/Dave Tansey 085-7108964.