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Sports Roundup McKiernan cracks runnings top 10

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mark Jones

DUBLIN — Catherina McKiernan, who is now firmly in the top echelon of women marathon runners, has been listed at No. 7 in the world rankings for 1999 by the influential magazine, U.S. Track and Field News.

This is the first time that McKiernan has figured in the high-profile rankings, which can influence promotional and sponsorship deals for athletes.

The county Cavan athlete’s progress to No. 5 on the all-time marathon list has made her one of the favorites for the gold medal at next year’s Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Interestingly, McKiernan, who was recently confirmed as a starter for the London marathon in April, entered the rankings four places higher than Sonia O’Sullivan. Despite an impressive haul of championship medals, O’Sullivan could do no better than 11th.

Since she won two world cross-country titles and then completed a memorable double at 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the European championships in Budapest, O’Sullivan is entitled to feel disappointed at her status, according to the U.S. Track and Field News.

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Ballymena bash Shannon

Shannon’s quest for a fifth title in succession got off to the worst possible start when they were humbled by Ballymena on the first weekend of rugby’s All Ireland League.

It ended 23-3 in Ballymena’s favor at Eaton Park and no one could remember Shannon being so totally outplayed in the four years that they have been the undisputed number one club in the country.

There was better news for Limerick followers when Garryowen beat Clontarf by 22-15, but Young Munster slipped up at home where St Mary’s triumphed by 31-15. Lansdowne got the better of Cork Constitution, Blackrock surprised Terenure and in the clash of the two promoted clubs, Buccaneers were 21-14 winners over Galwegians.

Meanwhile, South Africa failed in their bid for a world record 18th succesive test match wins when they were suprisingly beaten 13-7 by England at Twickenham.

Irish threesome star

The three man Irish team of Damien McGrane, Robert Giles and Damien Mooney stormed to victory in the PGA of Europe team championship for club professionals at Atalaya Park in Spain last weekend.

Led superbly by Wexford’s McGrane, who carded rounds of 70, 68 and 69, the Irish finished five shots ahead of England, with Spain a shot further back in third place.

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