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Top seeds open campaign with Classifications at DCU No romance for Evans in Paris Ireland Rev' up for London Skibbereen soar in Limerick Rohan peddles into history

TABLE TENNIS: Top Irish players including Paul McCreery, Ashley Givan and Edel O'Reilly begin their season with Sunday's Senior Classification Tournament at DCU.

Last season proved highly successful for Irish table tennis with four senior players in the top 1,000 in the world, Paul McCreery ranked in the top 100 junior rankings, and there were international victories for McCreery, Ashley Givan and Edel O'Reilly. At junior level, the Irish team had three wins at the Junior/Cadet 6 Nations in Scotland, victory in the Junior British League and five wins from a possible 12 at the Senior Schools International in Limerick.



No romance for Evans in Paris

BADMINTON: No joy for the Irish at the World Badminton Championships in Paris, with all players going out in the opening round. Dubliner Scott Evans went out to H Y Hsueh from Taipei, who is ranked 24, while Chloe Magee lost to Canadian Anna Rice in straight sets.

In the men's doubles, Toby Stephen and Sam Magee lost to Konov and Zadadsky from the Ukraine. Playing in the mixed doubles, Chloe Magee and brother Sam lost to Hong Kong pair Wong and Chau. Next up for the Irish is the Bitburger Open in Germany, starting on Tuesday.



Ireland Rev' up for London

HOCKEY: For the Irish men's hockey team, an 18-month build-up period aiming for London Olympics qualification has already begun under the supervision of coach Paul Revington.

After the four-match series with Malaysia in Dublin, the team are in Paris for a Four Nations International. They played Poland yesterday in their opening match and face host nation France today, followed by Malaysia on Saturday and Scotland on Sunday.

Against Malaysia, the Irish ended the series on a high note with a dramatic last minute win. Paul Revington has used as many players as possible for the series and the previous three games had produced a draw and two losses against a team ranked 15th in the world. The opening two matches were played in the late evening to allow Muslims on the Malaysian side to fulfil their Ramadan obligations.



Skibbereen soar in Limerick

ROWING: Richard Coakley picked up valuable points for his club Skibbereen when he won the singles sculls at the Rowing Grand League round at O'Brien's Bridge, Limerick.

In the heats, Sam Lynch of St Michael's beat Coakley by 0.48 seconds, but Coakley came out on top in the final, with Lynch fading to third behind Cian Pidgeon from Castleconnell.

In the men's coxless fours, Skibbereen's juniors beat their club seniors and St Michael's seniors in Division 1. St Michael's took the Division 1 pairs, beating a promising crew from Cappoquin Rowing Club.

Several experienced Skibbereen crews lined out for the double sculls, but again it was their juniors, fresh from their silver at the European Juniors, who took victory. Gillian Hosford of Skibbereen beat Kate O'Brien from St Michael's in the women's division one final. In division two, Corcoran-O'Hare of Shandon pipped Marie Piggott of Bantry.



Rohan peddles into history

PARALYMPICS: Mark Rohan from Athlone became Ireland's first ever Paracycling world champion when he won the H1 Handcycling Road Race at the World Championships in Baie-Comeau, Canada.

In a tactical race, Rohan battled it out with previous world champion Wolfgang Schattauer from Austria and Israeli rider Yakof Lion. Only in the final 500m did Rohan shake off Schattauer to win by two seconds.

In the women's 80k road race, disaster struck tandem pair Catherine Walsh and pilot Fran Meehan when their chain broke. They still battled their way back to the main group and finished eighth. Irish misfortune continued in the men's tandem race, when Michael Delaney and Con Collis also suffered chain problems.