Ireland head to Lucerne with team for the future


ROWING  A TEAM FOR the future – the very immediate future – will represent Ireland at the final World Cup regatta in Lucerne, which starts today. Eight of the 13 athletes who go into action today will be targeting glory at the World Under-23 Championships in Brest in Belarus in two weeks’ time.

In addition, Lisa Dilleen, who has just completed her Leaving Certificate, has travelled with the party and is “90 per cent” certain to go on to the world championships, according to Ireland performance director Martin McElroy.

A final placings, or even medals, in Lucerne would be a big bonus.

Ireland’s best hope may be the new lightweight men’s quadruple scull of Niall Kenny, Michael Maher, Mark O’Donovan and Justin Ryan. While they are an under-23 crew, the four men, in different combinations, did quite well in the first World Cup in Bled in May. The Lucerne entry of eight crews is small.

Ireland’s lightweight women’s double of Claire Lambe and Siobhan McCrohan reached the A final in Bled, but Lambe has now been teamed with her fellow under-23 athlete, Sarah Dolan, with the focus on the under-23 world championships. McCrohan – who turned 23 last week and is ineligible for this grade – is a doughty performer and could do well in the lightweight single scull.

The third under-23 crew is the men’s lightweight pair of Anthony English and Peter Hanily, and they will have it all to do in a field of 15 entries.

The Ireland team is completed by the experienced men’s pair of Seán Jacob and Cormac Folan; lightweight single sculler Cathal Moynihan – there were 32 entries in this grade – and Sanita Puspure, who can compete for Ireland at World Cups while she awaits her passport, which McElroy says should come through next year.

The entry for the National Championships, which begin this day week in Cork, is impressive. One surprise is that Queen’s have not entered the men’s intermediate eights, but have two crews entered in the eagerly-awaited men’s senior eight.

Ireland(Team for World Cup in Lucerne): Men– Pair: C Folan, S Jacob. Lightweight Pair: P Hanily, A English. Lightweight Quadruple Scull: N Kenny, M Maher, M O’Donovan, J Ryan. Lightweight Single Scull: C Moynihan. Women– Single Scull: S Puspure. Lightweight Double Scull: S Dolan, C Lambe. Lightweight Single Scull: S McCrohan.