Coxed four the highlight for Irish


ROWING:A FINE performance by the adaptive coxed four was a highlight on what was otherwise not a good day for Ireland’s crews at the World Rowing Championships in Bled in Slovenia yesterday.

The Ireland women’s double scull of Siobhán McCrohan and Claire Lambe finished fifth in their heat, which was won by Britain, under real pressure from New Zealand. The Ireland crew did not start well and were never contenders for the win, which would have sent them directly through to the A/B semi-finals.

McCrohan and Lambe, who have targeted making the top eight to qualify the boat from this event for the Olympic Games, are now bound for the second chance of a repechage tomorrow.

“They didn’t have a very good row. They came off the water and said the pair of them were just really nervous – [it was their] first race and they are glad it is just out of the way. Now they want to get on with it,” said Ireland performance director Martin McElroy.

The Ireland men’s lightweight quadruple came second in their heat. Again, there was just one qualification place on offer, this time for the A Final, and Germany took it. The Irish crew of Niall Kenny, Michael Maher, Justin Ryan and Mark O’Donovan were the Germans’ main rivals down the course, as the United States settled for third.

Ireland started the day well when the adaptive four finished an impressive second to the powerful Britain crew in their heat and secured a place in the A/B Semi-Finals.

The crew of Anne-Marie McDaid, Sarah Caffrey, Shane Ryan, Kevin du Toit and cox Helen Arbuthnot competes in the Legs, Trunk and Arms mixed coxed four. They filled the second-place slot down the course and held off a challenge from Brazil.

The Ireland crew will qualify for the Paralympic Games in London if they finish in the top eight in Bled. The same crew finished fifth at last year’s World Championships.

In Bled the crew is commemorating Karen Cromie, a fellow Ireland adaptive athlete who died tragically in January, by rowing in a boat named after her.