Puspure scrambles onto Irish team


Rowing:Another day has yielded yet another Irish qualifier for the London Games, with rower Sanita Puspure the latest to force her way into the picture. The Latvian-born sculler needed to finish in the top four at the Olympic Qualification regatta and did just enough in Lucerne to make it through.

Of the six boats starting the final, Puspure was not considered among the strongest but a decent start laid the foundations for her to hold off Serbia’s Iva Obradovic and beat Kaisa Pajusalu of Estonia and become the first woman rower from Ireland to reach an Olympics since 1980.

Born in Riga, Puspure moved to Cork in 2006 and went on to represent Ireland in World Cups in 2010, but did not receive her passport, which allowed her to compete at the World Championships, until 2011. She had previously represented Latvia at underage level

with a bronze medal in the single at the World Under-23 Championships in 2003 and a gold in the double scull at the World Student Games in 2004.

As it stands, there are already 44 Irish athletes qualified for the Olympics with the final total guaranteed to top 50. The cycling (three places) and equestrian (five places) teams have yet to be finalised while tri-athletes Aileen Morrison and Gavin Noble are expected to rubber-stamp their berths later this week.