Two Irish rowing crews confirmed for Beijing

ANOTHER piece of the Irish Olympic jigsaw was put in place for Beijing yesterday with confirmation of the composition of the two rowing crews.

The Irish lightweight men’s four that secured Olympic qualification at the final Olympic Qualifying regatta in Poland recently remains unchanged. Cathal Moynihan, Gearóid Towey, Richard Archibald and Paul Griffin will race at the Games. Richard Coakley will travel to Beijing as the spare man for the boat.

Unlike the lightweight four, the men’s heavyweight quarter secured Olympic qualification at last year’s World Championships but the crew still sees two changes from that which raced in the recent World Cup series.

Jonno Devlin and Sean Casey, who had raced in a heavyweight pair this season, come into the middle of the Irish boat for Beijing. Sean O’Neill switches to the stroke seat in place of Alan Martin, and Cormac Folan switches to the bow seat in place of James Wall.

Alan Martin has been selected to travel to China as the spare man for the boat, while James Wall, the youngest of the six, misses out.

Both crews are in the middle of their final training camps ahead of the Games. Under coach John Holland, the lightweight four are working out of Varese in Italy. The heavyweight four are finalising their preparations in St Moritz, Switzerland under their coach Harald Jahrling.

Both Irish crews will travel to Beijing on July 27 where they will be based in the Olympic Village. The 2008 Olympic regatta will be held at Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park on the side of the Chaobi River from August 9-17.

Irish Crews for Olympic regatta: Lightweight Men’s Four (LM4-): Cathal Moynihan (Neptune), Gearóid Towey (Fermoy), Richard Archibald (Lady Victoria BC), Paul Griffin (Muckross). Spare man: Richard Coakley (Skibbereen).

Heavyweight Men’s Four (M4-): Cormac Folan (NUIG), Sean Casey (Muckross), Jonno Devlin (Oxford Brookes BC), Sean O’Neill (St Michaels). Spare man: Alan Martin (NUIG).

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