Olympic Rowing: Ireland’s first athletes compete at Tokyo 2020

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Team Ireland opened their account at Tokyo 2020 with women’s skulls and men’s double skulls at the Sea Forrest Waterway this morning

W1x heat – Women’s single skull – Sanita Puspure

The 39-year-old Puspore lined up against Uganda, Greece, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore and Mexico in the heat 2.

The first three rowers home would qualify for the quarterfinals on Monday.

Puspure is one of the more accomplished athletes at these Games, having competed at London 2012 and Rio 2016, carving a path for Ireland in international rowing.

The race set off at 10:40 in Tokyo, Puspore starting slow and composed but got herself into first place before the first 500 metres.

The Latvian born Irish rower held her lead for the remaining 1500 metres extending it to give herself comfortable qualification for the next round.

Finishing the race eight seconds ahead of Mexico and Greece who also qualified, she has sent a message to the other high performers in Team GB, Russia and the USA that she is a main contender in this event.

 

M2x heat – Men’s double skull – Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle

Byrne and Doyle would face Switzerland, New Zealand and Poland in their first heat of Tokyo 2020. Top three in this race would qualify for the semi-finals on Monday.

The two men came into this competition aiming for the finals and even medal places after finishing second at the 2021 Lucerne World Rowing Cup.

The pair has been competing together for some years even though they hail from opposing ends of the country; Byrne is from Cork while Doyle lives in Belfast.

Their race set off at 11:40 in Tokyo’s warm morning, the contest began close and fast. Poland started in first and held the lead throughout.

The other three nations battled it out and disappointingly the Irish men finished last with Switzerland in second and New Zealand in third.

Byrne and Doyle will now battle it out in the repechage to see if they can make the semi-finals.

Tomorrow’s Races – Saturday 24th (Irish time)

02:10 – W2 – Women’s pair – Monika Dubarska, Aileen Crowley

02:50 – LW2x – Lightweight women’s double skull – Aoife Casey, Margaret Cremen

03:30 – LM2x – Lightweight men’s double skull – Fintan McCarthy, Paul O’Donovan

04:00 – W4 – Women’s four – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty, Fiona Murtagh

Olympics Schedule Fri/Sat 23rd/24th July – Irish Athletes Timetable

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com

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