Espersen happy with performance of Dukarska and Kennedy

Ireland duo 10th overall in Korea

Monika Dukarska and Leonora Kennedy of Ireland in the Women’s Double Sculls in South Korea. Photograph: Getty Images

Monika Dukarska and Leonora Kennedy of Ireland in the Women’s Double Sculls in South Korea. Photograph: Getty Images

 


Ireland’s Monika Dukarska and Leonora Kennedy finished 10th overall at the World Rowing Championships in Chungju in Korea with a solid fourth place in their B final.

The Ireland crew concluded their first major event with a fighting performance in this Olympic-class discipline. The United States crew of Meghan O’Leary and Ellen Tomek were impressive winners, seeing off Russia and the Ukraine, who were closest to them down the course.

Behind the leading three Ireland moved ahead of hosts Korea early on, but Italy disputed fourth and were in the frame to take it with 500 metres to go. However, Ireland upped their speed impressively, leaving the Italians behind and putting some pressure on Ukraine.

Ireland’s high performance director Morten Espersen believed that the Ireland crew were never in danger of losing their fourth place. “The plan was to push (over) the last 400 metres. And it happened.”

The Dane hopes the good performances can be a base for the crew to work their way further up the ladder. “Overall the World Championship has been an excellent fight to get in the the ranks in the top class crews of the world.”

Ireland coach Don McLachlan, who was crucial in the formation of this crew, was pleased with the showing. “It is early days but I am proud of their performance in their first senior World Championships. ”

The construction will begin this month, with an early identification trial on September 28th. Espersen noted the performance at the World Championships of small countries such as Denmark and Norway (who both won two gold medals), Lithuania and Greece, which have similar potential to Ireland. “The next year will be very important, to organise our potential with crews (and) coaches.”

It was a disappointing day for Alan Campbell. The Coleraine man, competing for Britain, could only make fourth in a remarkable final of the men’s single sculls. Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic was typically cool and commanding in his win.