Olympians Paul and Gary O’Donovan won gold in the final of the men’s lightweight double sculls at World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland, on Sunday, with Sanita Puspure claiming the silver medal in the women’s single sculls.
The Skibbereen duo were third in the race behind Denmark and Belgium up to the 500m mark before pushing ahead to take the lead by the 1,000m halfway mark. They held their lead throughout the remainder of the race despite a push from Belgium in the final 250m, to cross the line 0.8 of a second ahead of the Belgians.
Speaking after the race, Gary O’Donovan said:
“It was a pretty good race, Denmark took over for a while but then we swapped. We managed to throw ourselves over the finish line in first.”
Sanita Puspure won silver shortly afterwards in the ‘A Final’ of the women’s single sculls. She won silver at World Cup II in Belgrade in May and was challenging to retain her position. In an exciting race with world champion Jannine Gmelin of Switzerland and medal contenders Carling Zeeman of Canada, Kara Koher of the U.S., Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig and German Annekatrin Thiele, Sanita took the lead in the first 500m but was pipped at the finish line by 0.23 of a second by Gmelin, after a long battle down the 2,000m course.
Discussing her race and future plans, Puspure said:
“That was a tough race, really physical out there but the conditions were really good. I always enjoy racing here. I’m not sure if I’ll do the Europeans, I might just focus on the World Rowing Championships.”