Eimantas Grigalius excited to be competing for Ireland in Home Internationals

Lithuanian may consider applying for an Irish passport which would give him a shot at representing his adopted country at more advanced levels

Ireland teams for the upcoming World Junior Championships, the Home International regatta and the Coupe de la Jeunesse were announced this week. The hopes of a medal in the top event, the World Juniors, should rest with the double scull of Bridget Jacques and Hilary Shinnick, but the best story pops up in the less glamorous Home Internationals.

Eimantas Grigalius finished second in the single sculls at the recent Skibbereen regatta. The 28-year-old fitness instructor, who lives in Newbridge, told The Irish Times after the race that he had just returned to the sport, having done some rowing in Lithuania some years ago. He was being modest. Grigalius won gold for Lithuania in the double sculls at the World Junior Championships exactly 10 years ago.

He said yesterday he was surprised at how quickly rowing has come back to him and he was "excited" at the prospect of competing for Ireland the weekend after next in Nottingham. He came to Ireland in 2007 and is settled here with his wife Aisde.

Adopted country
Would he consider applying for an Ireland passport, which would give him a shot at representing his adopted country at more advanced levels? "Maybe if the rowing goes well. A few people have asked me about it."

Ireland could certainly do with a boost at senior level. The final World Cup regatta at Lucerne this weekend will go ahead without an Ireland team.

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And just four men (including Grigalius and John Keohane, who beat him at Skibbereen) will compete for the senior single sculls title at the Irish Championships next weekend. The senior eights has six entries.

One of the most interesting entries is in the women's lightweight single sculls, where Catriona Jennings joins her sister Sinead in the draw. Catriona, who represented Ireland in the marathon at the Olympics, has been competing as a rower at novice level with Commercial Rowing Club in Dublin.

Rowing Ireland has advertised for a Northern Ireland talent development coach, at £30,000 per year. Nathan Adams, who has held the post, is moving to Yarm School in the UK.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

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