#Rowing: Ireland’s Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle produced a fine performance in their first competitive race together at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The Ireland double were up against it in their heat, with just one crew going directly to the A/B Semi-Finals. New Zealand’s John Storey and Chris Harris made that theirs, using the fast conditions well. Italy and Ireland looked set to battle it out for second, but Doyle and Byrne opened up in the second half of the race and were well clear in second at the line.
Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished a disappointing fifth in the men’s pairs heat and will have to compete in a repechage to make the quarter-finals. Canada were impressive winners from South Africa and France, with Ireland and Belarus vying for the crucial fourth place and direct qualification. Ireland had a slight advantage with 500 metres to go, but the Belarussians wrested back the lead and had almost a second to spare crossing the line.
The women’s pair of Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty qualified from their heat for the semi-finals, finishing second.
World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day One (Irish interest)
Pair – Heat Four (First Four to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Canada 6:20.46, 2 South Africa 6:21.85, 3 France 6:25.43, 4 Belarus 6:28.22; 5 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:29.10
Double Sculls – Heat One (Winner to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 New Zealand 6:02.23; 2 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:12.61
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.