#Rowing: Paul O’Donovan set a new personal best – by just .1 of a second - and was the top lightweight at the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships today. The outstanding peformance of the day at the University of Limerick belonged, however, to heavyweight oarsman Sam McKeown. The Queen’s University oarsman was by far the fastest on the day, with a time of five minutes 55 seconds. This was the second occasion on which he had broken six minutes (he had covered the 2,000 metres in 5:59 in November) and he looked in control at the finish, shouting “Go Queen’s!”
Sanita Puspure was the fastest woman, clocking six minutes 40 seconds with a steady peformance. Her nearest rival was Monika Dukarska – 6:52.6 was a personal best for the Killorglin woman.
Ross Corrigan from Enniksillen Royal College (formerly Portora) was the fastest junior man – of 125 – and Hannah Scott of Bann took the honours amongst junior women.
In the under-23 men’s competition, another win for Daire Lynch confirmed his strong transition from junior ranks; UCD man Shane O’Connell, whose star has also been on the rise, won the under-23 lightweight grade in a good battle with Jake McCarthy and Fintan McCarthy.
Emily Hegarty of Skibbereen was the top woman at under-23 level. Her nearest rival was Eimear Lambe, who pipped her elder sister, Claire, by half a second. The Ireland Olympian who is now at Cambridge University competed as a heavyweight as she prepares for the Boat Race.
Competitors had to leave the venue late in the programme after a fire alarm. They were able to return to finish events.
Irish Indoor Rowing Championships, University of Limerick, Saturday (Selected Results):
Men – Open: 1 S McKeown 5 min 55.0 sec, 2 E O’Connor 6:02.7, 3 T Oliver 6:03.9. Lightweight Open: 1 P O’Donovan 6:07.4, 2 G O’Donovan 6:14.2, 3 M O’Donovan 6:19.0, 4 S O’Driscoll 6:21.1. Under-23: D Lynch 6:10.0. Lightweight Under-23: S O’Connell 6:21.3. Junior 18: R Corrigan 6:21.3. Jun 16: M Gallagher 6:38.6.
Women – Open: 1 S Puspure 6:40.0, 2 M Dukarska 6:52.6, 3 B Larsen 7:02.5, 4 C Lambe 7:11.4. Lwt: D Walsh 7:13.1. Under-23: E Hegarty 6:57.5; Lwt U-23: E McGiff 7:38.6. Jun 18: H Scott 7:05.7. Jun 16: Z McCutcheon 7:18.2.