Olympic Rowing: McCarthy and O’Donovan ease their way to semi-final

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The highly ranked Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy comfortably qualify directly for the rowing semi-finals along with two other Irish teams

M2 Repechage – Men’s pair – Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle

This pair improved greatly on their disappointing result in the heats yesterday. They faced Germany, Lithuania and Czech Republic with the top three making the semi-final.

The race was close between the four throughout with the Irish pair jostling with the Czech Republic for third place.

The Irishmen finished the 2000m in little under 6:30 as they qualify for the next round with good Germany and Lithuania teams.

 

W2 heat – Women’s pair – Monika Dubarska and Aileen Crowley

At 10:40 in the Sea Forrest Waterway, Dubarska and Crowley lined up against New Zealand, Spain and Denmark. Again, the top three would qualify directly for the semi-final.

Ireland started slow as a dominant New Zealand raced out in front. They sat in third place for most of the race only for a last spurt by Spain after 1500m to beat them.

The Irish women were only beaten out by a single second but now are resigned to the repechage for their last chance at qualifying.

 

LW2x heat – Lightweight women’s pair skull – Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen

The young pair of Casey and Cremen had a daunting prospect of facing World Champions Italy and a good France team in their first heat. They also lined up alongside the USA and Indonesia in this race with only two teams able to qualify directly.

They started dtrong and fast but dropped back to fifth after 500m. The Irish women struggled to compete with their world class opponents and finished the race just over ten seconds behind France.

Italy also qualified as they rest of the heat is set to compete at the repechage for their last chance in Tokyo.

 

LM2x heat – Lightweight men’s pair skull – Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’ Donovan

This worldclass pair came into the competition as favourites for gold having won this years European Championships and the 2019 World Championships.

At midday in Tokyo the race began with them against Ukraine, India, Uruguay, Poland and the Czech Republic. They began strong allowing an excited Uruguayan pair tire themselves out.

They never looked like losing first place finishing the 2000m in 6:23.74. The Czech Republic beat out Poland four seconds later, sending them to the repechage.

 

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

This team of four came in as a surprise package having qualified for the Olympics late but they showed that they mean business.

Rowing in lane two, they faced Australia, Romania, Denmark and the USA with the top two qualifying directly.

They powered themselves into second place from the beginning, trying to keep up with the highly-rated Australians.

They battled right until the end, pulling away from Romania in third. The race went down to the wire but Ireland lost out by half a second. Many of the Irish rowers were there to cheer them over the line, proud of the great display they had showed.

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