Ireland take three bronze in final day of Italian regatta
Ireland crews had bagged gold and silver in different combinations on previous day
Ireland’s Sanita Puspure: she and Monika Dukarska took a podium finish in their first regatta together. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Ireland capped off two successful days by taking three bronze medals on Sunday at the Memorial Paolo d’Aloja international regatta in Piediluco, Italy. On Saturday, Ireland crews had bagged a gold and silver in different combinations.
The Sunday saw the double of Sanita Puspure and Monika Dukarska find a podium finish in their first regatta together. The Ireland crew started well and even led in the opening stages. However, Lithuania’s Milda Valciukaite and Leva Adomaviciute had taken over by half way, with South Africa and Italy just ahead of Ireland. Dukarska and Puspure pushed hard in the closing stages. South Africa, which featured world lightweight champion Kirsten McCann, edged them out of silver by .52 of a second.
The race developed into an exhibition by Diana Dymchenko. The Ukranian gave a powerful display, leaving the rest of the field in her wake. Behind her Hegarty showed maturity to hold her place amongst the three women battling for the silver and bronze. Lina Saltyte snatched the silver, but Hegarty held off Quatar’s Tala Aladin Abujbar to land a podium place.
The Ireland pair of Aifric Keogh and Aileen Crowley, who were eighth in the world last year, might have expected to do better than third in their A Final, but the race developed into a gritty battle between two Italian crews, with Ireland the best of the rest.
On Saturday, Ireland had two untested boats, while Puspure competed in the single. The Ireland sculler, returning to action after an injury-hampered spell, took silver behind Dymchenko.
Dukarska and Crowley formed a double which won gold in a three-boat race, while Hegarty and Keogh took fifth as a pair.