Irish lightweight quartet through to semi-finals

THE Irish men’s lightweight four booked a place in the World Rowing Championship semi-finals by finishing third in their quarter-final in Munich yesterday.

The team of Paul Griffin, Richard Archibald, Eugene Coakley and Cathal Moynihan will now qualify for next year’s Olympics if they finish in the top 11 of the 12 semi-finalists in Munich.

There was bitter disappointment for the Irish women’s lightweight double of Sinéad Jennings and Niamh Ní Cheilleachair. They finished fourth in their repechage and missed out on one of the top-three spots necessary to advance to the semi-finals. This means they missed out on a chance to qualify for the Olympics. The Irish duo will race in the C final tomorrow morning instead.

Sean Jacob finished third in the C/D semi-finals of the men’s heavyweight single sculls to book a place in the C final.

Derry’s Orlagh Duddy won her C/D semi-final of the non-Olympic lightweight single sculls to progress to the C final.

The Irish heavyweight four of Alan Martin, Sean Casey, Cormac Folan, and Sean O’Neill will face stiff opposition from Australia, repechage winners Slovenia, Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand in their semi-final at 11.40am Irish time today. Only the first three crews in each semi-final progress to the A final.

The remaining six crews will move to the B final where they will fight it out for five Olympic spots.

This year the World Championship regatta is of added importance as it is the 2008 Beijing Olympic Qualification regatta. The majority of Olympic qualification places will be on offer in Munich but there will be one further opportunity to qualify for Beijing at the final Olympic qualifying regatta in June 2008.

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