#Rowing: Ireland’s Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan won their heat with a sparkling performance at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv. Germany’s newly-formed lightweight double of Jonathan Rommelmann and Konstantin Steinhuebel seemed set to give the Ireland crew a test, leading through half way and 1500 metres. But the O’Donovans had much better base speed and left their rivals behind in the final quarter. Portugal and Argentina also qualified for the quarter-finals.
Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey finished fourth in their heat of the lightweight double sculls. The first two positions were the valuable ones, as they secured a place in the semi-finals. New Zealand, Australia and Canada fought it out, with New Zealand’s Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle securing a clear first, while Australia edged Canada out by .34 of a second. Walsh and Casey were over 10 seconds further back.
The women’s pair of Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty qualified from their heat for the semi-finals, finishing second, while the men’s pair (fifth) and double (second) will have to compete in repechages.
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
Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Five (First Four to Quarter-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:15.79, 2 Germany 6:19.23, 3 Portugal 6:21.55, 4 Argentina 6:30.24.
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.
Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 New Zealand 6:50.04, 2 Australia 6:51.11; 4 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:02.25.