O’Donovan and Puspure hit form at Ireland trials

World champions sparkle despite testing conditions in Cork

Choppy water and a changeable wind did not dull the sparkle of Paul O'Donovan and Sanita Puspure at the Ireland trials at the National Rowing Centre in Cork. The two world champions set excellent times.

The test was run over three kilometres because of the conditions.

The new Ireland pair of Monika Dukarska and Aifric Keogh, in the stroke seat, also showed top form. Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll also had plenty to spare over their closest rivals, Patrick Boomer and Fionnan Crowley. The under-23 crew of Eimear Lambe and Claire Feerick were the second best women's pair. Aileen Crowley, who has been injured, did not row.

Two juniors showed tremendous form. John Kearney of Cork won in a good time, as did Molly Curry. The Coleraine girl is just 16.

The second session, run in good conditions in bright sunshine, had one terrific race. Boomer and Crowley pipped O’Driscoll and O’Donovan by 0.5 of a second.

The general standard was high and there were standout wins for the junior doubles of Chris Kirwan of St Michael’s and Grace Healy of Commercial and Andrew Sheehan of Lee and Aaron Keogh of Three Castles.

Racing planned for Sunday had to be abandoned because of a poor weather forecast.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

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

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