O’Driscoll and O’Donovan claim fourth straight gold
Skibbereen crew win lightweight pair title in Lucerne; O’Donovan brothers make final
Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll claimed their fourth gold medal of the season by winning the lightweight pair at the World Cup in Lucerne. Photograph: Srdjan Stevanovic/Inpho
Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan won the A Final of the lightweight pair at the World Cup in Lucerne to take their fourth consecutive gold medal this season.
The Skibbereen men were determined not to lose the winning record they amassed through the World Cup regattas in Belgrade and Poznan and the European Championships in Racice in the Czech Republic.
The early leaders were Britain, but they could not live with the pace the Irish produced in the third quarter. From the time they took the lead, the Irish were in charge and won well, from Russia and Brazil. Britain’s Joel Cassells and Sam Scrimgeour finished fourth, and out of the medals.
Earlier Paul and Gary O’Donovan finished third in their semi-final of the lightweight double sculls to qualify for the A Final – their fourth this year, following the World Cups in Belgrade and Poznan and the European Championships.
In the semi-final here, Italy and the Czech Republic took the first two places, while the O’Donovans were a clear third, despite a late charge by Britain to break into the qualification spots.
Ireland’s Sanita Puspure just missed out on an A Final place in the single sculls. Puspure took a close-up fourth behind Victoria Thornley in the semi-final when third would have put her through.
Ireland were unfortunate to have both their boats drawn in the ultra-competitive first semi-final with Killorglin woman Monika Dukarska finishing sixth. The contest was won by Magdalena Lobnig of Austria, who recently set the fastest time in the world.
Pupsure and Dukarska will compete in Sunday’s B Final.
Lightweight Pair – A Final: 1 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:34.00, 2 Russia 6:36.28, 3 Brazil 6:37.50; 4 Britain 6:38.84, 5 France 6:45.94, 6 Norway 6:58.68.
Lightweight Double Sculls – Semi-Finals (First three to A Final; rest to B Final) – Semi-final one: 1 France 6:20.57, 2 Belgium 6:24.68, 3 Greece 6:26.92. Semi-final two: 1 Italy 6:20.82, 2 Czech Republic 6:22.05, 3 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:23.75; 4 Britain 6:25.25, 5 Japan II 6:27.84, 6 Russia 6:34.33.
Single Sculls semi-finals (First three to A Final; rest to B Final) – Semi-final one: 1 Austria (M Lobnig) 7:35.06, 2 Germany (A Thiele) 7:35.96, 3 Britain (V Thornley) 7:36.09; 4 Ireland One (S Puspure) 7:36.90; 6 Ireland Two (M Dukarska) 7:55.0.