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O'Brien Takes Medal and Puspure Shines as She Books Tokyo Place for Boat

30th August 2019
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Annika van Der Meer, Kathryn Ross and Katie O'Brien Annika van Der Meer, Kathryn Ross and Katie O'Brien Photo: Liam Gorman

#Ireland had a special hour here at the World Rowing Championships in Austria, featuring a medal and another wonderful performance by Sanita Puspure, which booked a place for her boat in Tokyo, following the qualification of the men's double and lightweight double.

The medal came through Katie O'Brien, who celebrated her 23rd birthday by taking bronze in the women's PR2 final. Kathryn Ross of Australia was outstanding in taking gold, while O'Brien persisted through a tough race for her and gave Annika van Der Meer of the Netherlands a contest for the silver medal coming up to the line.

O'Brien would hope to compete in the Paralympic Games, but this requires her to find a male partner with a similar disability of the lower limbs.

Puspure won her semi-final of the women's single sculls, and qualified for the A Final, with the added bonus of a place in the top nine and thus a Tokyo place for this boat. The line-up was filled with quality: in particular, New Zealand's Emma Twigg would have targeted beating the Ireland sculler.

After a close first quarter, Puspure steadily extended a small lead into over a length by the final 500 metres. She would not be headed from there. Twigg took second and Carling Zeeman of Canada third. Local favourite Magdalena Lobnig lost out.

Kara Kohler of the United States won the first semi from Vicky Thornley of Britain and Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland.

World Rowing Championships, Linz-Ottensheim, Day Six (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Quadruple - B Final: 1 United States 6:03.94, 2 Ireland (H Sutton, M Taylor, R Ballantine, J McCarthy) 6:06.62.

Double - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:13.88, 2 Romania 6:14.86, 3 Britain 6:15.84.

Lightweight Single - B Final (places 7 to 12): 1 Austria (R Kepplinger) 7:00.16; 4 Ireland (G O'Donovan) 7:02.18.

Women

Single Sculls - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:28.53, 2 New Zealand (E Twigg) 7:32.7, 3 Canada (C Zeeman) 7:34.25.

Lightweight Single - B Final (places 7 to 12): 1 Australia (Alice Arch) 7:52.59; 5 Ireland (L Heaphy) 7:55.40.

Pararowing - PR2 Final: 1 Australia (K Ross) 9:37.30, 2 Netherlands (A van Der Meer) 9:56.84, 3 Ireland (K O'Brien) 10.01.64.

Published in Rowing
Liam Gorman

About The Author

Liam Gorman

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Liam Gorman is a writer and reporter. He is the co-author of Little Lady, One Man, Big Ocean, published in the United States and Canada as Crossing the Swell. He is the rowing correspondent of the Irish Times.  

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