#ROWING: Paul O’Donovan gave Ireland its first A Final place at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam today with a stirring performance which yielded second place in the lightweight single sculls semi-final. The UCD man lagged the field in the early stages; he was sixth at 500 metres as Zhao Jingbin of China and Marcello Miani of Italy commanded the race. By halfway O’Donovan was marginally in third place, but still over three seconds behind the leaders. As Miani moved clear in the final 1,000 metres, O’Donovan chased down and passed the Chinese. In a close finish, O’Donovan and Perry Ward of Australia took second and third, with Zhao Jingbin pushed into fourth and the B Final.
The Ireland lightweight men’s pair of Mark O’Donovan and Niall Kenny finished sixth in their semi-final and must settle for a B Final place. This was an exciting and fast race where all the boats were in with a chance of qualification until the very final stages, Switzerland, France and Australia took the A Final spots.
World Rowing Championships, Day Five (Irish interest; selected results)
Lightweight Pair – A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Switzerland (S Niepmann, L Tramer) 6:38.67, 2 France (A Mouterde, T Baroukh) 6:41.22, 3 Australia (A Foot, D Purcell) 6:42.39; 4 Bulgaria 6:44.00, 5 Netherlands 6:45.00, 6 Ireland (M O’Donovan, N Kenny) 6:46.60.
Lightweight Single Scull – A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Italy (M Miani) 7:02.00, 2 Ireland (P O’Donovan) 7:03.59, 3 Australia (P Ward) 7:04.10; 4 China 7:04.99, 5 Denmark 7:08.21, 6 Hungary 7:15.08.
Pair – A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 United States (M Kalmoe, K Simmonds) 7:16.35, 2 New Zealand (L Trappitt, R Scown) 7:22.12, 3 Australia (C Sutherland, L Stephan) 7:30.02; 4 Serbia 7:34.92, 5 Ireland (L Kennedy, L Dilleen) 7:35.18, 6 Czech Republic 7:45.68.
Lightweight Double Sculls - C/D Semi-Final (First Three to C Final; rest to D Final): 1 Denmark 7:25.98, 2 Ireland (C Lambe, D Walsh) 7:26.35, 3 Russia 7:26.65; 4 Argentina 7:27.24.