Steady start for Irish crews

Four of the six Irish crews were in heats action on the opening day of the 2007 Rowing World Championships in Munich this morning.

Four of the six Irish crews were in heats action on the opening day of the 2007 Rowing World Championships in Munich this morning.

All four finished inside the top four or better of their heats and advance to the repechages* on Tuesday morning.

In the olympic classes the men's heavyweight four (M4-) of Alan Martin, Sean Casey, Cormac Folan and Sean O'Neill fared the best finishing second behind reigning champions Great Britian in their heat, and ahead of the French four in third.

Only the winner advanced directly to the semi-finals so the Irish quartet will contest the repechages on Tuesday.

Irish manager Mick O'Callaghan was pleased with how the four fared: "They raced well this morning, they were steady and looked sharp out there. They were targeting a top two finish in the heats so it was a good opening performance from the crew."

Ireland's other olympic class boat in action this morning was Sean Jacob in the heats of the hotly contested men's heavyweight single scull (M1x).

Jacob finished third in his heat behind the winner, and reigning world champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand with Belgium's Tim Maeyens second. The Dubliner will race in the repechage on Tuesday.

Ireland's remaining two boats in action were in the non-Olympic classes; the lightweight single scullers Orlagh Duddy (LW1x), and Liam Molloy (LM1x). Both finished fourth in their respective heats and will race in the repechages on Tuesday also.

Tomorrow sees the lightweight men's four (LM4-) of Paul Griffin, Richard Archibald, Eugene Coakley and Cathal Moynihan, and the lightweight women's double (LW2x) of Sinéad Jennings and Niamh NiCheilleachair in heats action.

This year the World Championships are of added importance as they are 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.

The site www.worldrowing.com will provide live updates and results during the Championships as well as live video streaming from Thursday onwards. BBC Sport will also broadcast from Munich on Sat 1st on BBC1 from 2.45pm, and Sun 2nd September on BBC2 from 3.30pm.

RTÉ Sport will screen a special OB Sport show on the Irish team at the World Championships at 8.30pm on RTÉ2 on Monday September 3rd.

The repechages are the second chance for the crews who do not automatically qualify through the heats to advance to the semi-finals.

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