It was an incredible week for the Irish Rowing Squad at the World Rowing Championships, where athletes won a total of four medals, including two world titles, and on the way met Tokyo qualification status in four boats.
Sanita Puspure represented Ireland in the W1x A Final. Sanita rowed against countries New Zealand, USA, Great Britain, Switzerland and Canada. Throughout the race, Sanita competed against New Zealand's Emma Twigg for the top position. In the end, Sanita managed to get the better of the New Zealand rower finishing just over 3 seconds ahead to retain the Gold Medal. This is Sanitas second World Rowing Championship Gold Medal after winning the Medal in 2018.
Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy won the Gold Medal in the Lightweight Men’s Double. The Irish crew already qualified the boat for the Olympics on Thursday and took home the Gold Medal beating crews from Italy and Germany. This is Paul’s fourth consecutive World Championship Gold Medal having won in 2016 & 2017 in the Lightweight Men’s Single and 2018 in the Double with Gary O’Donovan. Paul and Fintan finished with a time of 06:35.280.
Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne competed in the M2x A Final alongside countries such as China, Poland, Great Britain, Switzerland and Romania. Philip and Doyle showed great determination going from the fourth position to second place in the space of a few strokes. The duo just began to contend for top position when they were just beaten to the line by China. The M2x crew take home the highly coveted Silver Medal.
The Women’s Pair of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley finished second in their B Final and qualified the Irish W2- boat for the Toyko Olympics. Monika and Aileen took the lead early on, the competing crews were close together throughout the race. The Romanian crew took first with Ireland finishing just over a second behind them. Boats from China, Great Britain, Greece and Chile finished behind the Irish pair. Monika and Aileen’s final time was 07:20.680.
Katie O’Brien won the Bronze Medal in the PR2 W1x Final today. Katie raced against crews from Australia, Netherlands, USA and Latvia. Katie held the third position early on in the race and was battling with the crew from the Netherlands throughout. There were two former Olympians in this race and Katie raced brilliantly against them to secure a Bronze Medal. Katie finished the race with a time of 10:01.640.
On top of four medals, four Irish boats qualified are the Women’s Single (W1x), Women’s Pair (W2-), Men’s Double (M2x), and the Lightweight Men’s Double. This is the highest number of Irish boats qualified for the Olympic games.
World Rowing Championships - Irish Results:
LM2x – Paul O’Donovan & Fintan McCarthy – Gold Medal - A Final – LM2x Boat Qualified for the Olympics
W1x – Sanita Puspure – Gold Medal - A Final – W1x Boat Qualified for the Olympics
M2x – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – Silver Medal A Final – M2x Boat Qualified for the Olympics
PR2 W1x – Katie O’Brien – Bronze Medal - A Final
W2- - Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 2nd – B Final – W2- Boat Qualified for the Olympics
W4- - Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh, Tara Hanlon – 4th - B Final
LM4x – Jake McCarthy, Ryan Ballantine, Hugh Sutton, Miles Taylor – 2nd B Final
LM1x – Gary O’Donovan – 4th B Final
LW1x – Lydia Heaphy - 5th – B Final
LW2x – Aoife Casey & Denise Walsh – 5th C Final
M2- - Shane O’Driscoll & Mark O’Donovan – 1st – E Final