Minority Report – Herald August 18

SWIMMING: Because of building work on the new bridge, today’s 92nd Dublin City Liffey Swim at about 1500m is shorter than usual. It will start at the Custom House – its traditional finish for many years – and finish at the Point Depot beside at the East Link Bridge. Last year, a combination of cold weather and an extra 600m to a new finish at O’Casey Bridge took its toll, with some of the backmarkers taking over an hour to complete the watery 2.4km trip.

Thanks to the excellent handicapping,  anyone can win this historic race, and last year Declan Proctor of Eastern Bay, off “go” , held off the faster swimmers, while the first woman was Maria Quintanilla of Dublin Bay SC. Over 200 men and 100 women with ages ranging from 12 to 70 are expected to take the plunge today.
TABLE TENNIS: Former Irish champion Na Liu, who competed with the British table tennis team at the London 2012 Olympics, leads the entry for the opening classification tournament of the season on August 25/26 at the Alsaa, Dublin Airport.
Also entered are last year’s table toppers Paul McCreery and Amanda Mogey. Qualification rounds take place on the Saturday with four men and two women making it through the play-offs on Sunday.
BADMINTON: Just over a year ago, Irish umpire Cormac Breslin had a busy time of it at the World Badminton Championships at Wembley, a trial event for London 2012.
Breslin, a veteran of the Beijing Olympics, sat in the high chair for a thrilling men’s singles final in which Lin Dan from China, who successfully defended his Olympic title a few weeks ago, beat Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei. Cormac had hoped to get the call-up for London 2012, but serious illness intervened and news came through of his passing in the opening week of the Olympics. To his heartbroken family and friends goes our deepest sympathy.
TRIATHLON: Belpark’s Bill McCormack took his first national series triathlon victory at the Caroline Kearney Tritahlone in Mullingar. In the women’s race, Anna Crooks of Predator Tri came home ahead former elite triathlete Anna Frankland of Piranha.
Alistair Duffield made it three in a row when he won the Portaferry Sprint Triathlon, leading all the way from Strangford to Portaferry. Second was Neil Kelly of Drogheda Triathlon. Women’s winner Trudy Brown was also making it three in a row. Michael Mizgajski and Niamh Fitzgibbon were the winners at the Tri the Hook sprint event in Fethard-on-Sea where the swim was shortened to 500m.
*Wednesday’s stormy weather forced the postponement of the Bray Aquathon. It now takes place next Wednesday August 22.
CANOEING: Last year, with water levels at a record low, the  annual Liffey Descent canoe marathon took place at the end of September, rather than its traditional  date earlier in the month. This year, the experiment is repeated with the 53rd Liffey Descent from Straffan to Islandbridge scheduled for Saturday September 29. This year’s “Liffey” is part of the ICF Classic Canoe Marathon World Series – 10 races on challenging waters all over the world –  and comes a week after the World Marathon Canoe Championships in Rome. Locally, the count-down is already underway with today’s Lower Liffey Marathon one of the qualifiers for the big race. Details and entry forms www.irishcanoeunion.com.
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Beach volleyball takes a break after a visit by the BVI Tour to Woodstown Beach in Waterford last weekend. In the women’s final, Reika Deim and Marie Claire Sabogal beat Lina Klimkeviciute and Ernesta  Gruzdaite, while in the men’s decider Andrew Gotti and Janusz Stolarek got the better of Johnny Whitty and Benny O’Regan. After a short breather,  the tour goes inland for the 3v3 mixed grass tournament at Dublin’s Trinity College on Saturday September 1.

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