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#Rowing: Sanita Puspure says it was harder to defend her World Rowing Championship title that it was to win it for the first time. "Mentally I think [it was harder]. Everyone is looking at you. You're the one to beat and you're like 'oh stop now' but that's what it was. You just try to ignore it as best you can.”

Puspure, an ambassdor for Indeed, the partner of Team Ireland, was speaking in Dublin after her win in the singles sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Austria. She also qualified the boat for the 2020 Olympic Games.  

The world champion spoke about the programme which has brought her along. “We have a really good nutritionist, Sharon Madigan, working with us, making sure we're fueling properly for the loads we're doing. That's made a massive difference. I used to get ill quite a lot while training whereas now I occasionally get a head cold. The training is way more consistent."

 Her competition schedule during the summer was hit by the illness and subsequent death of her sister Inese. Puspure competed at the European Championships (she won), but missed the final World Cup regatta in Rotterdam.

 “(Inese) was getting worse rapidly, so I went over for a few days and then I was home for a little bit. And then I was in Latvia for three weeks and she passed away the same week the World Cup was on.

 "It was scary because I had very mixed emotions. I thought I should be at home training but at the same time, I wanted to spend some quality time with my sister because I knew she was going to pass away soon.

 "It was really hard being so conflicted within myself and not knowing what to do. Because of that, the medal has very high value. And we just needed something nice to happen."

 She paid tribute to her sport pyschologist, Kate Kirby.

 "Even if it was just to seal the qualifying place, I should be happy with that. And there were times when I thought if I just qualify I'll be fine. But then a few hours I'll be 'no I won't be fine, I don't want to just qualify. I want to repeat what I did last year or even just get on a podium.' It was a difficult time but I'm really glad we got on the other side of it."

 The new programme in this Olympic cycle also capitalised on the strengths she had and built her self-belief, which had not always been strong.

 “Yeh, I think a bit of a lack of self belief, definitely.” She was lucky to have  “great physiology” but it may have been better technique and the “harsh training we started two years ago that really kind of gave the confidence”.

 She also paid tribute to her family and her supportive team-mates.

 Team Ireland has updates and behind the scenes action: @IndeedIreland #TalentUnleashed.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure and the men's double scull of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne took gold and silver for Ireland on the final day of the World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim.

Puspure was set a very hard challenge by her friend and rival Emily Twigg of New Zealand, who led right through the middle of the race.

On a hot day, Puspure had to call on all her resources to catch and then pass Twigg. She did this in the final quarter, and then drove on to win well.

Ireland completed the set of gold, silver and bronze medals at the World Rowing Championships as Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne raced a brilliant second half of their double sculls final to take silver. China were outstanding, while Ireland trailed early on but built their speed and passed all the other contenders. They were less than a boat length away from China, who took the gold.

In the run-up to Sunday, the lightweight double scull had taken gold and pararower Katie O'Brien bronze.

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

Men

Double Sculls - A Final: 1 China 6:05.68, 2 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:06.25, 3 Poland 6:07.87.

Women

Single Sculls - A Final: 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:17.14, 2 New Zealand (E Twigg) 7:20.56, 3 3 United States (K Kohler) 7:22.21.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy became the world champions in the lightweight double sculls with an outstanding victory over Germany and Italy here in Linz-Ottensheim.

The men in blue and red and white disputed the lead through the first quarter of the race, with Ireland a length behind in sixth. From there O'Donovan and McCarthy put the foot down. They set the fastest time for the next three quarters, accelerating into the headwind and clawing their way to level and then past their two big rivals.

They kept going right to the end and beat the Italians by just over a length, with Germany taking the bronze.

World Rowing Championshiops, Linz-Ottensheim, Day Seven (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Double - A Final: 1 Ireland (F McCarthy, P O'Donovan) 6:37.28, 2 Italy 6:39.71, 3 Germany 6:41.07.

Women

Four - B Final (First Two book Olympic places for boat): 1 Britain 6:55.08, 2 Canada 6:56.99; 3 China 7:02.28, 4 Ireland Ireland (T Hanlon, E Lambe, A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:02.71.

Pair - B Final (First Five book Olympic places for boat): 1 Romania 7:18.88, 2 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:20.68.

Lightweight Double Sculls - C Final (Places 13 to 18) 1 China 7:00.82; 5 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:10.52.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland's ambitions of booking a slot for a fifth boat at Tokyo 2020 came up short. The Ireland four of Tara Hanlon, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty had the difficult task of taking a top-two place in their B Final. They found their pace coming up to the line, but Britain, in lane five, and Canada in lane six took the crucial spots, with Ireland finishing fourth behind third-placed China.

The crosswind was a problem during the race and immediately afterwards the authorities redrew the lanes to acknowledge that lanes five and six were favoured.

World Rowing Championshiops, Linz-Ottensheim, Day Seven (Irish interest)

Women

Four - B Final (First Two book Olympic places for boat): 1 Britain 6:55.08, 2 Canada 6:56.99; 3 China 7:02.28, 4 Ireland Ireland (T Hanlon, E Lambe, A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:02.71.

Pair - B Final (First Five book Olympic places for boat): 1 Romania 7:18.88, 2 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:20.68.

Lightweight Double Sculls - C Final (Places 13 to 18) 1 China 7:00.82; 5 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:10.52.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland's lightweight double of Aoife Casey and Denise Walsh took fifth in their C Final, 17th overall at the World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim this morning. China were strong winners. Ireland came from sixth to fifth in the second half of the race. They had the fastest final 500 metres but were held out of fourth by Germany - by .68 of a second.

World Rowing Championshiops, Linz-Ottensheim, Day Seven (Irish interest)

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls - C Final (Places 13 to 18) 1 China 7:00.82; 5 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:10.52.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland qualified a second boat for the Olympic Games today. The Ireland double of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne controlled their semi-final to win from Romania and Britain, who also qualified for the A Final.

The middle stages were superb. Ireland moved away from early leaders New Zealand and led Britain coming through the 1500 metres. From there came the charges of the other boats, but Doyle and Byrne repelled them all.

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: 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

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

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland's Gary O'Donovan took fourth in his B Final of the lightweight single sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim.

Rainer Kepplinger of Austria won, with O'Donovan part of group close behind. The finish puts O'Donovan 10th overall here.

Alice Arch of Australia won the women's lightweight single, with Ireland's Lydia Heaphy fifth. Heaphy had led through the first quarter.

The Ireland lightweight quadruple took second to the United States in their B Final.

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.

Lightweight Single - B Final (places 7 to 12): 1 Austria (R Kepplinger) 7:00.16; 4

Ireland (G O'Donovan) 7:02.18.

 Women

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

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Ireland women's four finished fourth in their A/B Semi-Final at the World Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, missing out by one place on an A Final. The must now compete in a B Final, where a top-two placing would lift their boat into an Olympic place.

The first 700 metres were discouraging, but from there the crew of Tara Hanlon, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty made real progress. They moved from sixth into fifth and were in fourth coming into the final 500 metres, overlapping the Romanian crew in third. Ireland kept the pressure on, but Romania held out for third. Australia and Denmark led home.

Gary O'Donovan will also compete in a B Final. He finished a distant sixth in his semi-final of the lightweight single sculls, slowing up and paddling home in the final quarter.

Lydia Heaphy took sixth in her semi of the lightweight single. She was very much in contention for a top-three spot through the middle stages of the race, but it got away from her by the end.

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

Men

Lightweight Double Sculls - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (F McCarthy, P O'Donovan) 6:13.46, 2 Germany 6:13.59, 3 Norway 6:14.15.

Lightweight Single Sculls A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 6 Ireland (G O'Donovan) 7:34.01.

Women

Four - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Australia 6:25.34, 2 Denmark 6:28.58, 3 Romania 6:30.96; 4 Ireland (T Hanlon, E Lambe, A Keogh, E Hegarty) 6:32.37.

Pair - A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 New Zealand 6:57.92, 2 United States 7:01.78, 3 Italy 7:01.80; 4 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:03.05.

Lightweight Single Sculls A/B Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 6 Ireland (L Heaphy) 7:42.23.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland's first boat qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games is the lightweight men's double. Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan won in a thrilling semi-final here in Linz-Ottensmeim to take an A Final place at the World Championships and land a berth for the boat in Tokyo.

This was classic Paul O'Donovan. He gelled with his new partner, McCarthy, to produce a perfectly-judged finish which pushed Germany into second - by 13 hundredths of a second. Norway, like Ireland, had watched Germany and Australia do the early work, then closed on them in the final stages. The Norway crew of Are Strandli and Kris Brun, who were bronze medallists behind Ireland's silver in Rio 2016, produced the fastest finish of all to take third. Australia fell back to fifth.

 All six A Finalists and the eventual winner of the B Final qualify boats for Tokyo 2020.

The Ireland women's pair of Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska will have to make their way through the B Final (placing fifth or better) if they are to qualify the boat for the Olympics. They finished fourth in a hotly-contested semi-final. New Zealand won with a commanding performance; the United States forced their way into second; the battle was joined between Ireland and fast-finishing Italy, who took the crucial third place.

 

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

Men

Lightweight Double Sculls - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (F McCarthy, P O'Donovan) 6:13.46, 2 Germany 6:13.59, 3 Norway 6:14.15.

Women

Pair - A/B Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 New Zealand 6:57.92, 2 United States 7:01.78, 3 Italy 7:01.80; 4 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:03.05.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Gary O'Donovan came from fifth in his quarter-final with 500 metres to go to take third and a place in the World Championships semi-finals. The good finishing speed served the Skibbereen lightweight sculler well in Linz-Ottensheim. As four boats charged, Aaron Lattimer of Canada did best and won, while Sean Murphy of Australia held on to take second. O'Donovan took out Milos Stanojevic of Serbia, who had held second going into the final quarter.

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

Men

Double Sculls - Quarter-Final One - (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Poland 6:15.06, 2 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:17.78, 3 Germany 6:21.04.

Lightweight Double Sculls - Quarter-Final Three - (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Ireland (F McCarthy, P O'Donovan) 6:20.84, 2 Spain 6:22.84, 3 Poland 6:23.72.

Lightweight Single Sculls - Quarter Final Three - (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Canada (A Lattimer) 6:56.90, 2 2 Australia (S Murphy) 6:57.85, 3 Ireland (G O'Donovan) 6:59.57.

Women

Pair - Quarter-Final Two (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Australia 7:08.74, 2 Ireland (A Crowley, M Dukarska) 7:12.51, 3 Italy 7:13.11.

Lightweight Double Sculls - Quarter-Final Three - (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 4 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:07.17.

Single Sculls - Quarter-Final Four - (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:21.03, 2 Czech Republic (M Topinkova Knapkova) 7:36.19, 3 Ukraine (D Dymchenko) 7:41.48.

Pararowing: Women's PR Two Single Sculls, Preliminary Race: 1 Australia (K Ross) 9:24.99; 3 Ireland (K O'Brien) 9:52.13.

Published in Rowing
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