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#Rowing: Aifric Keogh has had to withdraw from the Ireland team for the European Championships at the end of the month because of illness. The Galway woman was to form a pair with Monika Dukarska in Lucerne (May 31st to June 2nd), but this crew will now travel to the second World Cup in Poznan, Poland on June 21st to 23rd. A women’s four will also be entered in Poznan, which was not originally pencilled in as an event for Ireland crews.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: An Ireland heavyweight four of Mark O’Donovan, Fionnan Crowley, Andy Harrington and Shane O’Driscoll got its first outing in the second session of the Ireland Trials on Saturday. Their test against Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle – who did have a handicap of 15 seconds – ended with a victory for the double.

The pair of Monika Dukarska and Aifric Keogh got a battle from the junior double of Molly Curry and Rhiannon O’Donoghue, in a race won by lightweight single sculler Fintan McCarthy.

At the London Head of the River, provisional rankings placed Commercial’s senior eight 20th.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland’s gold medallists at the World Championships, Paul and Gary O’Donovan and Sanita Puspure, are the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September.

 The whole Ireland team performed with merit at the regatta in Plovdiv in Bulgaria and there were a number of outstanding placings. The men’s lightweight quadruple reached their A Final, while Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne finished ninth overall in the men’s double sculls.

Gary Paul podium Plovdiv with Italy and BelgiumGary and Paul on the podium in Plovdiv with Italy and Belgium Photo: Liam Gorman

 The women’s pair of Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty swept into the A Final, one of the real shocks of the Championships. They took sixth.

 The O’Donovan brothers had to battle through a terrible lane draw on the Wednesday to reach Thursday’s semi-final. It left them tired and they made it through to the final by taking the third qualification place in the semi-final with just 1.52 seconds to spare over Poland. Come the final it was a step up; a step into history. They made light of their outside lane with a sweet and powerful row they deemed their best ever as a lightweight double. Italy could not live with it and Ireland had won their first ever gold medal in an Olympic event at a World Championships.

Sanita Podium Plovdiv relievedSanita Puspure on the podium in Plovdiv Photo: Liam Gorman

 The women’s single sculls has been a fascinating event for years. Australia’s Kim Crow (now Brennan) was the star who shone all the way to a golden show in Rio in 2016; latterly Switzerland’s Jeannine Gmelin has been a winner. And now the time had come for Ireland’s Sanita Puspure. She won the heat and the semi-finals with elan, as if impatient to take on and beat Gmelin. She did this despite having to deal with choppy conditions in the final and she clipped a buoy. However, Puspure was never headed from early on, and she won with over two lengths to spare. For seven minutes and 20.12 seconds she was, indeed, dominant.

 Congratulations to all the Ireland teams this season and to the Afloat Rowers of the Month, Sanita Puspure and Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan.   

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2018 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

#Rowing: Ireland finished sixth in the A Final of the women’s pair at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. New Zealand and Canada covered the first 500 metres best, but Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty passed through that mark at the back of the field. The pattern of the race developed in the same way: Canada came through New Zealand by the finish, and the two took gold and silver. Spain won a battle with Italy to take bronze. Keogh and Hegarty skirmished with China coming into the closing stages but eventually took the final spot.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day Seven (Irish interest):

Women

Pair – A Final: 1 Canada 6:50.67, 2 New Zealand 6:52.96, 3 Spain 7:04.60; 6 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:15.70.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Aifric Keogh an Emily Hegarty produced a stunning final 500 metres to win their semi-final of the pair and qualify for the A Final at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv. The race was being fought out between Spain Britain and Italy, with Ireland fifth for most of the 2,000 metres. But then came that sprint. Ireland swept through the places; Britain fell back. Ireland won, with Italy and Spain taking the other A Final spots.

 Earlier the men's double of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne had also qualfied for their A Final.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day Five (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Quarter-Final Four (Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Canada 6:26.04, 2 New Zealand 6:30.36, 3 Czech Republic 6:35.01; 5 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:44.28.

Double Sculls – Repechage Four (First Two to A/B Semi-Final):

Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:16.96, 2 Bulgaria 6:20.15.

Women

Pair – Semi-Final (Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:14.67, 2 Italy 7:14.99, 3 Spain 7:15.30.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland’s Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty took an excellent second place to qualify for the semi-finals on the first day of the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

 The New Zealand pair of Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast are the best in the world at the moment: they are world champions and holders of the world's best time. They showed it by flying away from the field and winning well. There were two other direct qualification places on offer, with Australia, Ireland and the United States contending for them.

 The United States were second to half way, but by then Keogh and Hegarty were moving. They pulled out a good third quarter and were virtually level with the Americans at 1500 metres. They pushed into second and secured their place in the next round. The American crew of Victoria Opitz and Gia Doonan were third.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day One (Irish interest)

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Three to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechage): 1 New Zealand 6:56.06, 2 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:11.51, 3 United States 7:13.02.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished fourth in the semi-final of the men’s pair at the World Cup in Lucerne today. The Skibbereen men missed out on an A Final place, but not by much. Serbia won the race well, and three other boats – Spain, Britain One and Ireland – disputed the next two qualifying spots. They finished in that order, with Ireland just over three seconds behind Britain One.

Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley finished fourth in the semi-final of the women’s double and are also set for a B Final. The pair of Tara Hanlon and Aifric Keogh needed to take a top-two place in their repechage to make the A Final. They took fourth and will compete in the B Final.

World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, Day Two (Irish interest; selected results)

Men

Pair – A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Serbia 6:33.87, 2 Spain 6:36.65, 3 Britain One 6:38.90; 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:42.02.

D Final (Places 19 to 24): 1 Poland 6:40.95; 5 Ireland (P Boomer, A Harrington) 6:53.83.

Single Sculls – C Final (Places 13 to 18): 1 Australia 6:58.52, 2 Argentina 6:59.65, 3 Ireland (P Doyle) 7:00.39.

Women

Pair - Repechage (First Two to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Australia 7:18.62, 2 China One 7:19.86; 4 Ireland (A Keogh, T Hanlon) 7:29.63.

Double – Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 New Zealand 6:53.91, 2 Canada 6:57.71, 3 Netherlands 6:58.57; 4 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:06.42.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Three of the four Ireland boats in early action at the World Cup Regatta in Lucerne qualified directly from their heats and avoided repechage action.

 Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan took second place in their heat of the men’s pairs and secured a place in the quarter-finals. The world lightweight champions came up against the outstanding Sinkovic brothers from Croatia, who won the race with a sparkling performance. The key battle behind them was not to finish last. Brazil and Australia battled with Ireland, but O’Donovan and O’Driscoll moved away from both, collared second place and held on to it.

 Patrick Boomer and Andy Harrington secured third place in their heat. Their qualification looked in doubt as they battled with Croatia at the back of the field. But the big Ireland crew found speed when they needed it. They produced the fastest final quarter, and left the Croats behind them. China faded badly and took the last place.  

 The women’s double of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley qualified directly for the A/B Semi-Finals with a solid second place. The United States crew of Megan O’Leary and Ellen Tomek were convincing winners, while Dukarska and Crowley held on to second despite a late charge by China, who pushed Switzerland into the repechage.

 In the women’s pair, the new crew of Aifric Keogh and Tara Hanlon finished sixth in their heat and are set for a repechage.

World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, Day One (Irish interest; selected results)

Men

Pair – Heat Two (First Four to Quarter-Final; rest to Quarter-Final or E Final): 1 Spain 6:40.29; 3 Ireland Two (P Boomer, P Harrington) 6:45.74

Heat Six (First Three to Quarter-Final; rest to Quarter-Final or E Final): 1 Croatia 6:37.66, 2 Ireland One (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:40.95.

Women

Pair – Heat Two (First to A Final; rest to Repechage): 1 Canada 7:13.98;  6 Ireland (A Keogh, T Hanlon) 7:32.49.

Double Sculls – Heat Two (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 United States 6:58.58, 2 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:03.05.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Emily Hegarty and Aifric Keogh took fourth in their semi-final of the women’s pair at the World Cup Regatta in Belgrade. The two UCC women closed hard in the closing stages on Britain Two, but the British crew of Emily Ford and Emily Ashford held on to the third place which sends them to the A Final. Spain won from Denmark.

 The result for the Ireland double of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley was the same. They started well in their semi-final and led to the 500 metre mark. The Netherlands and Belarus One took over and held those places to the end. Belarus Two established themselves in the third qualification spot and Dukarska and Crowley, who finished fast, could not dislodge the second Belarus boat.

 The Ireland pair and double will compete in B Finals.

World Cup Regatta, Belgrade, Day Two (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – C Final (Places 13 to 18): 1 Hungary 6:55.35, 2 Greece 6:57.73, 3 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:59.0, 4 South Africa 7:00.22.

Women

Pair – Semi-Final Two (Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Spain 7:35.18, 2 Denmark 7:35.77, 3 Britain Two 7:39.35; 4 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:42.60.

Double Sculls – Semi-Final (Three to A Final; rest to B Final): Netherlands 7:16.27, 2 Belarus One 7:18.73, 3 Belarus Two 7:23.46; 4 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:25.60.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure won her heat of the single sculls at the Memorial Paolo d’Aloja regatta in Italy, qualifying for Saturday’s A Final. The Ireland sculler had over a second to spare over second-placed Milda Valciukaite of Lithuania, an Olympic bronze medallist in the double in 2016. Emily Hegarty and Aifric Keogh qualified for the A Final of the pair with third in their heat, while Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley won a three-boat exhibition race in the women’s double.

Published in Rowing
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