Rowing championships: Monika Dukarska wins women’s solo

Rower sets sights on Olympic Games in Tokyo after clinching second title in Monaco

Monika Dukarska finished   over 26 seconds ahead of Greek international Alexandra Tsiavou to win women’s solo at the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Monaco. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Monika Dukarska finished over 26 seconds ahead of Greek international Alexandra Tsiavou to win women’s solo at the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Monaco. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

 

The great year for Irish rowing continues. Monika Dukarska of Killorglin won the women’s solo at the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Monaco, and Amhrán na bhFíann rang out at another international venue.

The 26-year-old led from the start over the 6km course, which had two turns at buoys. She struggled to get her bearings after the first turn and Ukraine’s Diana Dymchenko pushed to take the inside line between the second and third buoys, but Dukarska led around the third buoy and was well in the lead on the final leg. She won by over 26 seconds ahead of Greek international Alexandra Tsiavou.

The win was the second for Dukarksa, who had first taken this title in 2009 in Plymouth in England.

“I am delighted,” she said. “I’ve had such a roller-coaster of a season.”

She dropped out of the Ireland high-performance system for Olympic-class rowing in February, dispirited in what she saw as a lack of a clear pathway for heavyweight women.

She competed at Henley Royal Regatta, where she was beaten by the eventual winner; the Irish Championships, which she won; the World University Championships, where she took bronze, and concluded the season with this win.

“My goal is the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” she says firmly. However, while she continues to train full time she has not committed herself to the Irish system for the 2017 season.

She grew up in Poland and has joint Polish and Irish citizenship. “My options are quite open. I will compete in the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships in January and then assess,” she says.

At the other side of the world, Ireland’s leading single sculler Sanita Puspure teamed up with Magdalena Lobnig of Austria to finish second in the Championship Doubles at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. Paul and Gary O’Donovan were eighth in the men’s championship doubles.

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