Paul O’Donovan and Sanita Puspure maintain form in Florida

Irish rowers both make semi-finals at World Rowing Championships

Ireland’s Paul O’Donovan on his way to winning his quarter-final at the  World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida. Photograph: Detlev Seyb/Inpho

Ireland’s Paul O’Donovan on his way to winning his quarter-final at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida. Photograph: Detlev Seyb/Inpho

 

Ireland continued their impressive run at the World Rowing Championships in Florida on Wednesday.

Defending champion Paul O’Donovan won his quarter-final of the lightweight single sculls. The Corkman was not really tested by his closest challenger, Lars Wichert of Germany, yet clocked the fastest time of the day. In a dramatic fourth quarter-final, Rajko Hrvat of Slovenia capsized while leading with just a few hundred metres to go.

Sanita Puspure was also in complete command as she moved into the semi-finals. The Ireland single sculler won her repechage by almost nine seconds from Lucie Zabova of the Czech Republic. Again there was a shock – China’s Juan Dingli, an Olympic bronze medallist in Rio, finished third in her repechage and lost her chance of contending for a medal.

The Ireland women’s pair of Aileen Crowley and Aifric Keogh had to settle for a B Final place. They finished fourth in their repechage, with just two crews landing A Final spots.

O’Donovan and Denise Walsh will be out to give Irish television viewers something to cheer as they see their first live action on Thursday. Both compete in semi-finals. O’Donovan is set for action at 3.11 pm and Walsh at 3.41pm, with both races being shown on RTÉ2.

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