Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey fall just short in Bulgaria

Duo finished in third but only two lightweight doubles qualify for A and B semis

Ireland's Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey took third in their repechage at the World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria - but just two lightweight doubles qualified for the A and B semi-finals and the Skibbereen women will have to campaign in the C/D semi-finals on Thursday.

This had the feel of one which got away. Switzerland and Austria were the tips to take the top two places and they were in the mix in the middle of the race. Japan were also contending, while Ireland, after a lacklustre first 500 metres, held fourth.

The Swiss crew of Patricia Merz and Frederique Rol, who have medal hopes, pushed away from the rest and won, Ireland caught and passed the Austrians, but Japan held on to second and go forward.

"The girls didn't have a good start," coach Dominic Casey conceded. "They were close at the finish."

Wednesday is a big day for the Ireland crews. The women's double of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley hope to make it through their repechage (10.21 Irish time), while the lightweight double of Paul and Gary O'Donovan and the pair of Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll have quarter-finals at 1.18 and 2.30 respectively. The O'Donovan brothers are drawn in the same race as Norway, who beat them in the European Championships in August.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day Three (Irish interest)


Lightweight Double Sculls - Repechage One (First Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C/D Semi-Finals): 1 Switzerland 6:57.90, 2 Japan 7:00.67; 3 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:03.88.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in rowing