Choppy waters foil Irish


Rowing: In extraordinarily bad conditions, Ireland's boys' coxless four could only manage fifth in their heat at the World Junior Championships in Schinias in Greece yesterday.

The Irish crew must finish in the top three in a tough repechage today if they are to hold any hopes of making the A final tomorrow. Croatia, the Netherlands and the United States would expect to go through ahead of the Irish.

The stormy conditions yesterday, which sunk the boys' eights of both Britain and the United States, must be a big worry for the organisers of the rowing events at next year's Olympic Games, which will be held at this venue.

Meanwhile, back in the more sedate conditions of Portlaoise on Tuesday night the International Rowing Committee decided not to send the Ireland heavyweight four which took bronze at the World Under-23 Championships to the senior World Championships later this month.

While the four's performance was seen as creditable, no specific trial for this crew for the senior World Championships had been held.

Decorated lightweight oarsman Niall O'Toole looks set for a place at the senior World Championships, however, having proved his fitness this week. O'Toole was ill when recent trials were held but would now hope to challenge for a place in the lightweight four. The squad is training in Hazewinkel in Belgium.