Paul O’Donovan and four qualify for finals at New Zealand Championships
Paul O’Donovan qualified for the A Final of the Premier Single Sculls on Lake Karapiro
Ireland coach Dominic Casey has urged caution in assessing their chances of medals given that they are taking on some of the best in the world - in borrowed boats. Photograph: Inpho
Irish rowers had a good second day at the New Zealand Rowing Championships on Lake Karapiro, and have set up finals in three Premier (open weight) events.
Paul O’Donovan qualified for the A Final of the Premier Single Sculls. Racing into a headwind, the world champion in the lightweight single sculls won his repechage with plenty to spare. He will take on the Olympic heavyweight champion (Mahe Drysdale) and the man who set the world’s fastest time (Robbie Manson) in Saturday’s final. Gary O’Donovan, who placed third in the repechage, goes in the B Final.
The double of the O’Donovan brothers will compete in a straight final on Friday, but there will be no final for the men’s pair of Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan. They knew they would have a steep learning curve if they were to jump from the lightweight ranks - where they are world champions - into the Olympic-class heavyweight grade.
They fought hard in their repechage of the Premier Pair to take a top-four spot, which would have secured an appearance in the final. It was not to be: they lost out in a close contest by under two seconds, finishing fifth.
Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan still have a final to look forward to come Saturday. They formed a four with Gary and Paul O’Donovan which won a repechage in a good time.
Ireland coach Dominic Casey has been very pleased with how his men are performing. However, he urged caution in assessing their chances of medals given that they are taking on some of the best in the world - in borrowed boats.
UCD man Max Murphy continues to burnish his reputation. Rowing with Waikato, he qualified for the A Final in the senior men’s pair, while Eamon Power of NUIG, representing Wairau, also made progress in the men’s club single sculls.
New Zealand Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro, Day Two (Irish interest)
Four - Premier
Repechage Two (First two to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Skibbereen (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan, M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:21.39.
Pair - Premier
Repechage (Top Four to Final; rest eliminated): 5 Skibbereen (S O’Driscoll, M O’Donovan) 7:11.47.
Repechage (Top Three to Final): 2 Waikato (M Murphy, T Bedford) 7:33.13.
Single - Premier
Repechage One (First two to Final; rest to B Final): 1 Skibbereen (P O’Donovan) 7:23.32; 3 Skibbereen (G O’Donovan) 7:55.63.
Club - Repechage One (First Two to Semi-Final): 1 Wairau (E Power) 8:19.07.