John Keohane makes Ireland team for European Championships in Seville

Lee Valley man was the fastest man in the Irish trials on Saturday

The Irish team for the European Championships will feature Sanita Puspure in the women’s single scull. Photograph: Inpho

The Irish team for the European Championships will feature Sanita Puspure in the women’s single scull. Photograph: Inpho

Tue, May 7, 2013, 10:35

John Keohane has fought his way on to the Ireland team for the European Championships. The tall Lee Valley man was the fastest man home in the Irish trials on Saturday and will compete for Ireland in Seville in four weeks’ time.

The team features Sanita Puspure in the women’s single scull; Claire Lambe in the lightweight single and Niall Kenny and Justin Ryan in a lightweight double. These athletes were spared the trial and Ryan and Kenny will depart on Wednesday for a training camp in Copenhagen.

Paul O’Donovan, an under-23 lightweight, was only 0.09 seconds behind Keohane in the time trial on Saturday. He recorded 94.8 per cent of projected world best time for the lightweight single, though there was a strong tailwind. Fionnan McQuillan-Tolan and Seán O’Connor were the fastest pair. Ireland performance director Morten Espersen said he will have “a very strong team” for the World Under-23 Championships in July.

Paddy Hegarty and Bridget Jacques posted fine performances to head up the junior lists. There was a long delay before the squad for the World Junior Championships and Coupe de la Jeunesse was named and after objections the men’s list was expanded.

Meanwhile, Sport Northern Ireland are to fund two posts for the Olympic cycle. A club development and coaching officer will be recruited.