The Afloat Rowers of the Month for January are Sanita Puspure, Philip Doyle and Paul O’Donovan, all of whom set new Irish records at the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships.
Puspure’s times have been good for years, but the world champion in the single scull continues to improve. Her mark of six minutes 34.5 seconds for 2,000 metres knocked 1.4 seconds off the old Ireland mark.
Paul O’Donovan, a world champion in the lightweight double, made a similar improvement in his Irish record for a lightweight man, with a time of 6:04.8.
The breakthrough of the day at the University of Limerick came in the men’s open single. Philip Doyle is the world silver medallist in the men’s double, but his former team-mate at Queen’s University, Sam McKeown, had been master on the ergometer. No more. Doyle looked calm and in control as he covered the 2,000 metres in 5:51.1. Ronan Byrne, the 21-year-old who partners Doyle in the Ireland men’s double, set a fine mark of 5:53.8 to win the men’s under-23 competition. His brother, Alex Byrne (19), was just 5.1 seconds behind. Both siblings came in under six minutes, once a rare achievement for Irish rowers.
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 2020 champions list grow.