The Irish men’s heavyweight four (M4-) of Alan Martin, Sean Casey, Cormac Folan and Sean O’Neill were on form in this morning’s heats at the second leg of the Rowing World Cup in Amsterdam to finish second and advance directly to tomorrow’s semi-finals.
The quartet maintained second place throughout their heat behind favourites for gold, and hosts, the Netherlands.
The advantage of the direct route to the semi-finals lies in the fact that they rest this evening while the majority of crews in their category must race again to win the remaining semi-final spots. Their performance also secures them a more favourable starting lane in the semi-final.
“The heavy four raced well this morning, and will benefit from the rest this evening. The New Zealand and Australian fours who were not in Linz are here competing for a place in the A final (top six), but we are hopeful our four will perform to the best of their ability tomorrow and push those crews all the way”, said Mick O’Callaghan, Irish team manager.
The women’s lightweight double (LW2x) of Sinéad Jennings and Niamh NiCheilleachair must race in the repechages this evening after finishing third in their morning heat behind two Danish crews.
Lying fifth at the 1000metre mark the duo made a charge over the second half of the 2000metre test but just fell short of attaining one of the vital top two spots by nearly a second on the line.
Caroline Ryan faced a near on impossible task of claiming one of the two top spots necessary to reach the semis in her heat of the heavyweight single sculls (W1x) this morning. The Kildare woman faced the bronze medallist and fourth place finisher from last year’s World Championships, and finished fourth behind them and Germany’s Peggy Waleska meaning she lines up in the repechages this afternoon.
In the non-Olympic lightweight single scull (LW1x) Orla Duddy placed second behind a Danish sculler but with the high numbers in this category it was not enough to secure a semi-final spot.
The Derry woman also lines up in the evening repechages, along with Ireland’s other representatives in the single; Orla Hayes and Siobhan McCrohan who finished second and third respectively in the same heat.
The remaining Irish Under-23 crews in action; Liam Molloy in the lightweight single scull (LM1x), the lightweight men’s four (LM4-), and the men’s heavy four (M4-) finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively in their morning heats advancing to this afternoon’s repechages where they will gain valuable race experience at this top level.