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#Rowing: Ireland figure strongly in the finalists for the World Rowing Awards 2019. World champions Sanita Puspure, in the single sculls, and the lightweight double of Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy are finalists for women’s and men’s crews of the year. Ronan Byrne (21) is one of four finalists for the Filippi Spirit Award for outstanding university rower. Byrne won gold in the single sculls at the European Under-23 Championships just a week after partnering Philip Doyle to silver in the double sculls at the senior World Championships.

 The award ceremony is on November 22nd in London.

Finalists for the 2019 World Rowing Awards

Thomas Keller Medal – for a rower who has had a long and successful rowing career and who has made an outstanding contribution to rowing as a competitor and as a sports personality.

  • ·         Kim Brennan,Australia
  • ·         Ekaterina Karsten,Belarus
  • ·         James Cracknell,Great Britain
  • ·         Pete Reed,Great Britain
  • ·         Andrew Triggs Hodge,Great Britain

Filippi Spirit Award – for a university rower who has demonstrated the core values of rowing in his/her social, academic and sporting life and, through these values, also enabled or inspired exceptional success in other people's lives.

  • ·         Ria Thompson,Australia
  • ·         Jean Maillard,France
  • ·         Ronan Byrne,Ireland
  • ·         Nicholas Perovich,United States

World Rowing Sustainability Award – for an organisation that has implemented an innovative project or initiative delivering a clear and positive sustainability impact.

  • ·         Spring Creek Regeneration Project,Australia
  • ·         2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships,Canada
  • ·         Wintech: Clean air, water and solar power,China
  • ·         Rowers Against Rubbish,Great Britain
  • ·         Developing Environmental Ambassadors,Japan

World Rowing Para-rowing Crew of the Year

  • ·         Kathryn Ross,Australia,Para PR2 Women’s Single Sculls
  • ·         Ellen Buttrick, Giedre Rakauskaite, James Fox, Oliver Stanhope and Erin Wysocki-Jones (coxswain),Great Britain,Para PR3 Mixed Coxed Four  
  • ·         Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley,Great Britain,Para PR2 Mixed Double Sculls  
  • ·         Birgit Skarstein,Norway,Para PR1 Women’s Single Sculls
  • ·         Roman Polianskyi,Ukraine,Para PR1 Men’s Single Sculls

World Rowing Men’s Crew of the Year

  • ·         Zhiyu Liu and Liang Zhang,China,Men’s Double Sculls
  • ·         Valent Sinkovic and Martin Sinkovic,Croatia,Men’s Pair
  • ·         Oliver Zeidler,Germany,Men’s Single Sculls
  • ·         Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy,Ireland,Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls 
  • ·         Dirk Uittenbogaard, Abe Wiersma, Tone Wieten and Koen Metsmakers,The Netherlands,Men’s Quadruple Sculls

World Rowing Women’s Crew of the Year

  • ·         Olympia Aldersey, Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe and Lucy Stephan,Australia,Women’s Four
  • ·         Yunxia Chen, Ling Zhang, Yang Lyu, Xiaotong Cui,China,Women’s Quadruple Sculls
  • ·         Sanita Puspure,Ireland,Women’s Single Sculls
  • ·         Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle,New Zealand,Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls
  • ·         Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler,New Zealand,Women’s Pair

World Rowing Coach of the Year

  • ·         Bernd Nennhaus,Germany,junior rowing crews         
  • ·         Tom Dyson,Great Britain,Para-rowing coach    
  • ·         Eelco Meenhorst,Netherlands,men’s sculling head coach  
  • ·         Gary Hay,New Zealand,women’s head coach       
  • ·         Johan Flodin,Norway,head coach
Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The two crews which won gold for Ireland at the World Championships, the lightweight men’s double of Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy and single sculler Sanita Puspure, are the Afloat Rowers of the Month for August.

 The month was quite extraordinary. The Ireland double of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne qualified their boat for Tokyo at the World Championships in Linz-Ottensheim and then went on to take silver with an assured, technically impressive, performance in a gripping final; the women’s pair of Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska secured qualification with second in their B Final, eighth overall, well within the 11 places allotted for Tokyo. Along with the two gold-medal boats, this brought the Ireland complement for the Olympic Games to four, a record in the era of boats having to qualify through set competition.

 The Championships had also been a joyful one for Katie O’Brien. She took Ireland’s first medal, a bronze, in the PR2 single sculls on her 23rd birthday.

 Ireland crews came up just short of podium finishes at the Coupe de la Jeunesse and the World Junior Championships. Back in Ireland, the two Coastal Rowing Championships generated fine entries and plenty of excitement.  

Sanita Good Water LG World champion Sanita Puspure in action Photo: Liam Gorman

 The pressure was on Sanita Puspure and the lightweight double in Austria. Puspure’s year was affected by family bereavement. She was defending a title in a keenly-contested category. Looking back, her achievement can seem pre-ordained – it was not. She won her early races by big margins, consigning former Olympic champion Mirka Topinkova Knapkova to a distant second in her quarter-final. And then came the semi-final. Emma Twigg of New Zealand had made no secret of her ambition of ousting her friend from her eminent position. Puspure never let her get the chance, outpacing her in each of the four quarters. The final, on September 1st, would see Twigg try to win from the front. It was desperate stuff, and Puspure, knowing she had the resources to do it, waited her out and rowed through her.

 Nominally, the Ireland lightweight double were defending their title. But this was a new combination, with Fintan McCarthy coming in to partner Paul O’Donovan. The finish of their semi-final was nail-biting, as three boats (Ireland, Germany, Norway) were covered by .69 of a second. In the final the feeling of jeopardy lasted the whole race. Ireland had a poor first quarter, which left them trailing the field, produced a ridiculously good middle thousand in which they passed Germany and Italy, and then gritted it out to take a clearwater win. The exhaustion – physical, mental – of the second-placed Italy crew of Pietro Ruta and Stefano Oppo after the race was affecting. They looked like they could not process what had happened to them.    

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 2019 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure says it was harder to defend her World Rowing Championship title that it was to win it for the first time. "Mentally I think [it was harder]. Everyone is looking at you. You're the one to beat and you're like 'oh stop now' but that's what it was. You just try to ignore it as best you can.”

Puspure, an ambassdor for Indeed, the partner of Team Ireland, was speaking in Dublin after her win in the singles sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Austria. She also qualified the boat for the 2020 Olympic Games.  

The world champion spoke about the programme which has brought her along. “We have a really good nutritionist, Sharon Madigan, working with us, making sure we're fueling properly for the loads we're doing. That's made a massive difference. I used to get ill quite a lot while training whereas now I occasionally get a head cold. The training is way more consistent."

 Her competition schedule during the summer was hit by the illness and subsequent death of her sister Inese. Puspure competed at the European Championships (she won), but missed the final World Cup regatta in Rotterdam.

 “(Inese) was getting worse rapidly, so I went over for a few days and then I was home for a little bit. And then I was in Latvia for three weeks and she passed away the same week the World Cup was on.

 "It was scary because I had very mixed emotions. I thought I should be at home training but at the same time, I wanted to spend some quality time with my sister because I knew she was going to pass away soon.

 "It was really hard being so conflicted within myself and not knowing what to do. Because of that, the medal has very high value. And we just needed something nice to happen."

 She paid tribute to her sport pyschologist, Kate Kirby.

 "Even if it was just to seal the qualifying place, I should be happy with that. And there were times when I thought if I just qualify I'll be fine. But then a few hours I'll be 'no I won't be fine, I don't want to just qualify. I want to repeat what I did last year or even just get on a podium.' It was a difficult time but I'm really glad we got on the other side of it."

 The new programme in this Olympic cycle also capitalised on the strengths she had and built her self-belief, which had not always been strong.

 “Yeh, I think a bit of a lack of self belief, definitely.” She was lucky to have  “great physiology” but it may have been better technique and the “harsh training we started two years ago that really kind of gave the confidence”.

 She also paid tribute to her family and her supportive team-mates.

 Team Ireland has updates and behind the scenes action: @IndeedIreland #TalentUnleashed.

Published in Rowing

#Ireland had a special hour here at the World Rowing Championships in Austria, featuring a medal and another wonderful performance by Sanita Puspure, which booked a place for her boat in Tokyo, following the qualification of the men's double and lightweight double.

The medal came through Katie O'Brien, who celebrated her 23rd birthday by taking bronze in the women's PR2 final. Kathryn Ross of Australia was outstanding in taking gold, while O'Brien persisted through a tough race for her and gave Annika van Der Meer of the Netherlands a contest for the silver medal coming up to the line.

O'Brien would hope to compete in the Paralympic Games, but this requires her to find a male partner with a similar disability of the lower limbs.

Puspure won her semi-final of the women's single sculls, and qualified for the A Final, with the added bonus of a place in the top nine and thus a Tokyo place for this boat. The line-up was filled with quality: in particular, New Zealand's Emma Twigg would have targeted beating the Ireland sculler.

After a close first quarter, Puspure steadily extended a small lead into over a length by the final 500 metres. She would not be headed from there. Twigg took second and Carling Zeeman of Canada third. Local favourite Magdalena Lobnig lost out.

Kara Kohler of the United States won the first semi from Vicky Thornley of Britain and Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland.

World Rowing Championships, Linz-Ottensheim, Day Six (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Quadruple - B Final: 1 United States 6:03.94, 2 Ireland (H Sutton, M Taylor, R Ballantine, J McCarthy) 6:06.62.

Double - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:13.88, 2 Romania 6:14.86, 3 Britain 6:15.84.

Lightweight Single - B Final (places 7 to 12): 1 Austria (R Kepplinger) 7:00.16; 4 Ireland (G O'Donovan) 7:02.18.

Women

Single Sculls - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:28.53, 2 New Zealand (E Twigg) 7:32.7, 3 Canada (C Zeeman) 7:34.25.

Lightweight Single - B Final (places 7 to 12): 1 Australia (Alice Arch) 7:52.59; 5 Ireland (L Heaphy) 7:55.40.

Pararowing - PR2 Final: 1 Australia (K Ross) 9:37.30, 2 Netherlands (A van Der Meer) 9:56.84, 3 Ireland (K O'Brien) 10.01.64.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure won her heat of the single sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Linz with plenty to spare – and still set the second fastest time of the day. Laila Youssifou of the Netherlands took the second qualification spot for the quarter-finals, but she provided little challenge to the reigning champion, who was well clear. Puspure’s time of 7:44.41 was close to the 7:43.81 set by Emma Twigg of New Zealand in the fastest of eight heats.  

World Rowing Championships, Linz, Austria, Day One (Irish interest)

Men

Pair – Heat One (First Four to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 6 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:50.51.

Double Sculls – Heat One (First Three to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:28.93.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Three (First Three to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Ireland (F McCarthy, P O’Donovan) 6:28.02

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat Four (First Three to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 4 Ireland (G O’Donovan) 8:06.49.  

Women

Four – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechage): 3 Ireland (T Hanlon, E Lambe, A Keogh, E Hegarty) 6:44.72.

Pair – Heat Four (First Four to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 2 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:13.30

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Four (First Four to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 4 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:25.62.

Single Sculls – Heat Eight (First Four to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:44.41.

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechage): 3 Ireland (L Heaphy) 8:01.79.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul O’Donovan will team up with Fintan McCarthy in the lightweight double at the World Cup Regatta in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, from July 12th to 14th. Gary O’Donovan and Jake McCarthy will compete in lightweight singles.

 World and European champion Sanita Puspure will hope to continue her winning run in the single.  Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley form a pair and Denise Walsh and Lydia Heaphy will compete again in the lightweight double, as will Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle in the men’s openweight double.  

Ireland Crews for World Rowing Cup Three, Rotterdam, July 12th to 14th

Men

Double: R Byrne, P Doyle

Lightweight Double: F McCarthy, P O’Donovan

Lightweight Singles: G O’Donovan; J McCarthy

Women

Pair: M Dukarska, A Crowley

Single: S Puspure

Lightweight Double: D Walsh, L Heaphy

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Afloat Rower of the Month for June is Sanita Puspure. The world champion in the single sculls became the European champion with a gutsy performance in the final at Lucerne.

 Puspure pushed into the lead after just 500 metres and was still leading at the finish. The home challenge, in the shape of Jeannine Gmelin closed to within less than a second of Puspure at the line but could not get past her. Mirka Topinkova Knapkova of the Czech Republic, the 2012 Olympic champion, showed outstanding speed in the last 500 metres to finish third.

 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 2019 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure added the European title to her World Championship crown from 2018 with a strong, controlled, performance in Lucerne today. The Ireland single sculler took hold of the final just before the 500 metre mark and never let go. Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland finished with real pace to take second, but Puspure was in control and won by .86 of a second. Mirka Topinkova Knapkova also showed a turn of pace to finish third.

European Championships, Lucerne, Day Three (Irish interest)

Men

Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Germany 6:19.30, 2 Lithuania 6:19.44, 3 Italy 6:22.64, 4 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:22.81

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Netherlands 7:05.12; 6 Ireland (D Walsh, L Heaphy) 7:22.38.

Single Sculls – A Final: 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:23.18, 2 Switzerland (J Gmelin) 7:24.04, 3 Czech Republic (M Topinkova Knapkova) 7:24.85; 4 Austria 7:25.03.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland has qualified two boats for the A Finals of the European Rowing Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. Sanita Puspure qualified for the A Final of the single sculls, taking second in her semi-final behind the Olympic champion of 2012, Mirka Topinkova Knapkova.

 Earlier, Skibbereen twins Fintan and Jake McCarthy took third in their semi-final of the lightweight double sculls.

 The first semi-final of the women’s single saw Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland fashion a good win.

European Championships, Lucerne, Day Two (Irish interest)

Men

Double Sculls – Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Netherlands 6:11.71, 2 Britain 6:12.61, 3 France 6:13.81; 4 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:14.37.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Germany 6:16.29, 2 Spain 6:17.83, 3 Ireland (F McCarthy, J McCarthy) 6:17.97; 4 Czech Republic 6:18.78.

Lightweight Single Sculls – C Final (Places 13 to 17): 1 Austria (R Kepplinger) 7:09.42; 4 Ireland (G O’Donovan) 7:18.11.

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Switzerland 6:55.47, 2 Italy 6:55.92, 3 Romania 6:56.25; 6 Ireland (D Walsh, L Heaphy) 7:18.75.

Single Sculls – Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Czech Republic (M Topinkova Knapkova) 7:32.69, 2 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:34.01, 3 Denmark (F-U Erichsen) 7:36.40

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure opened her account at the European Rowing Championships in Lucerne with a good win. The world champion in the single sculls was given a good test in the third heat by Victoria Thornley of Britain, who stayed with her until the final stages. The two took the semi-final places. Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland and Austria's Magdalena Lobnig won the other heats. They took silver and bronze, in that order, at the World Championships in 2018.

 Earlier, Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle had won their heat of the double sculls. Gary O’Donovan faces into a repechage in the lightweight single sculls. He took sixth in his heat.  

European Championships, Lucerne, Day One (Irish interest)

Men

Double Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:26.53, 2 Romania 6:29.62.

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Italy (M Goretti) 7:05.54, 2 Switzerland (J Schaeuble) 7:06.73; 6 Ireland (G O’Donovan) 7:34.73.

Women

Single Sculls – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:30.65, Britain (V Thornley) 7:35.35

 

Published in Rowing
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