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SPORT | IN BRIEF

Tapner takes Badminton title
EQUESTRIAN: Paul Tapner denied veteran Mary King a piece of history to become the third Australian to win the Badminton Horse Trials in five years.

Overnight leader Tapner held his nerve on the last run aboard Inonothing, while Briton King downed a fence on Imperial Cavalier to drop from second to fourth.

Victory would have seen the 48-year-old become the oldest ever winner.

German Andreas Dibowski and Britain’s Daisy Berkeley were second and third.

Thorpe spurns comeback claim
SWIMMING: Five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe has dismissed media reports suggesting he could make an comeback at the London 2012 Games.

The 27-year-old retired from swimming in November 2006 and said. “I have no intention of returning to competitive swimming. “My position has not changed.”

Irish not on the wane, says Horan
RUGBY UNION: Marcus Horan says Irish rugby is not on a downward spiral after both Munster and Leinster lost their Heineken Cup semi-finals to French sides at the weekend.

Ireland star Horan couldn’t prevent his Munster side falling to Biarritz, while rivals Leinster crashed to Toulouse.

But the prop said: “Both teams can be very proud of what they did. To say that it means Irish rugby is on the way down is unfair.”

Everton stun Gunners in final
WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Natasha Dowie brought restored family pride with two goals to help Everton to a surprise 3-2 victory over Arsenal in the Women’s FA Cup final at the City Ground, Nottingham.

On the day when her uncle, Iain, was relegated with Hull City, Dowie netted the winner in extra time to end Arsenal’s run of five successive cup successes.