Irish pair in pleasing show


Ireland's ambitious new lightweight double scull of Sinéad Jennings and Heather Boyle got some idea of the level they will have to reach to make an impression at the Duisburg Regatta over the weekend.

The English crew of Tracy Langlands and Helen Casey won the A final on both days. The Irish finished second by just over two seconds on the Saturday, and again tested them yesterday, only to see Germany come through to snatch second, pushing Jennings and Boyle into third.

Casey teamed up with Jane Hall to finish sixth in last year's World Championship final, and one of yesterday's German crew, Claudia Blasberg, had teamed up with Janet Radunzel to win the gold.

Ireland team manager Mick O'Callaghan was thus pleased with the showing on the first competitive outing for the Ireland crew, in which Jennings has said she hopes to turn her success as world single sculling champion into similar achievement in this Olympic event.

"They improved with each race," O'Callaghan said, deeming them the most impressive Irish crew of the weekend.

The lightweight pair of Gearóid Towey and Tony O'Connor, the reigning world champions, fought off a challenge by Britain to win their A final on Saturday. The British crew of Ned Kittoe and Nick English pushed all the way and the Irish had less than two seconds to spare at the end.

However, Towey and O'Connor did not finish yesterday's final, pulling up after apparently hitting a buoy.

The men's lightweight double scull could do no better over the weekend than sixth in the A final on Saturday; this crew is a development one and will be given more time to prove themselves.

DETAILS (Selected Results, finals): Sunday, Men - Lightweight Pair: Ireland (G Towey, T O'Connor) did not finish.

Women - Lightweight Double: 1 Britain (H Casey, T Langlands) 7:09.25, 2 Germany (C Blasberg, N Moller) 7:11.83, 3 Ireland (H Boyle, S Jennings) 7:12.25.

Saturday, Men - Lightweight Pair A: 1 Ireland (G Towey, T O'Connor) 6:43.71, 2 Britain (N Kittoe, N English) 6:45.42, 3 France 6:50.67. Lightweight Double Sculls A: 6 Ireland (E Coakley, R Archibald) 6:51.13. Lightweight Single Sculls A: 3 Ireland (D Holland) 7:21.78, 6 Ireland (N Monahan) 7:29.36. Lightweight Single Sculls B: 1 Britain 7:20.20, 2 Ireland (T Harnedy) 7:20.71.

Women - Lightweight Double: 1 Britain (H Casey, T Langlands) 7:19.0, 2 Ireland (H Boyle, S Jennings) 7:21.07, 3 Germany (D Reimer, M-L Drager) 7:26.21.