Team Ireland hunting gold at World Rowing Championships

Two more outstanding performances yesterday means Ireland will have three boats competing in A finals today at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota.

Team Ireland hunting gold at World Rowing Championships

Reigning men’s lightweight single sculls world champion Paul O’Donovan comfortably saw off his opposition in the first A/B semi-final of the day, claiming his third win of the week.

Unusually, O’Donovan pulled out of the starting blocks very strongly putting the pressure immediately on his opponents, before settling into a steady, solid rhythm and looked in control of the race from the early stages. A trademark surge in the closing stages left the field trailing, winning by a margin of 3.74 seconds. Today he faces boats from Switzerland, Brazil, Norway, New Zealand and Germany in the final.

Shortly afterwards, Skibbereen clubmate Denise Walsh claimed her second win of the week in the A/B semi-final of the lightweight women’s single sculls, beating boats from the USA, Sweden, Mexico, and Italy. Walsh led throughout the race and will face USA’s Mary Jones and Emma Fredh from Sweden again in today’s final, as well as boats from South Africa, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Today is a busy day for Team Ireland. At 4.15pm (Irish time) Sanita Puspure races in the A/B semi-final of the women’s single sculls where a first, second, or third place finish will make her the fourth Irish boat to reach an A final.

Then from 5pm, Ireland coach Dominic Casey will be busy as his three lightweight crews, the men’s pair of Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’ Donovan race in their final, before O’Donovan and Walsh compete at 5.15pm and 5.30pm.

Finally, at 6.50pm, the heavyweight men’s pair of Patrick Boomer (Belfast RC) and Fionnan McQuillan-Tolan (NUIG BC) compete in the C final where the 13th–18th overall placings will be determined. RTÉ will broadcast live coverage from 4.30pm.

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