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Sport in brief: O'Sullivan sweeps aside Allen to set up Higgins meeting

Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan set up an appetising semi-final against John Higgins and almost made a 147 break in his ruthless demolition of Mark Allen at the Welsh Open yesterday. O'Sullivan won 5-2 and finished the match in a hurry, reeling off four frames in quick succession.

In the fifth frame the 34-year-old looked certain to become the first man to reach 10 career maximums in professional events when he potted 15 reds and blacks. But he missed a straightforward green and the break ended at 122. O'Sullivan had fallen 1-0 and 2-1 behind early on but he was mostly impressive and breaks of 92, 88, 90 and 50 on top of the century proved to be frame winners.

Higgins had a top break of 89 in his 5-2 win over Masters champion Mark Selby. The Scot was never seriously troubled, tearing into a 3-0 lead and sealing victory with two scoring visits in the seventh frame.

Australia's head coach resigns after board overhauls structure

Swimming: Alan Thompson has stepped down as Australia's head coach because he was unwilling to work under a new structure to be implemented by Swimming Australia. The national body has decided to separate the positions of head coach and general manager for high performance. Thompson had been on leave since early December following an allegation of inappropriate behaviour, with a subsequent investigation still ongoing.

Validity of Swiss sails back onto agenda in America’s Cup row

Sailing: The America’s Cup was back on collision course after a New York Supreme Court judge put the latest legal challenge from the Americans, Larry Ellison’s wing-masted trimaran, BMW Oracle, against the Swiss defender, Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi, into the pending basket.

Justice Shirley Kornreich confirmed she had not yet set a hearing date over the argument that the giant Swiss catamaran is illegal because the sails are made in the United States.