Rowing: O’Donovan and O’Driscoll edged out in Scotland
Pair will concentrate on on Saturday’s B Final as will Aoife Casey and Denise Walsh
Ireland’s Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan finished fifth on Friday. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho
Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll have followed a pattern during their rise through the pairs rankings: break through a barrier, then consolidate their position.
After an eye-catching performance in their repechage, Friday’s semi-final at the European Championships was about taking their chance if it came - it didn’t.
On an overcast day in Strathclyde Park in Scotland, France provided the fireworks. They led all the way. The other five crews fought to nail the second or third which would bring the prize of an A Final place.
Ireland were sixth until the final 500 metres, and while they sprinted hard, Belarus and France covered that quarter of the race faster and took second and third. O’Donovan and O’Driscoll were fifth and will now look to excel in the B Final on Saturday, placing high up on the rankings from seven to 12.
Aoife Casey and Denise Walsh will compete in the B Final of the lightweight women’s double sculls on Sunday. They contended for a top-two place in their repechage, which would have seen them into the A Final, but Switzerland and Britain had moved clear by the middle stages. The Skibbereen women could not catch them.
European Rowing Championships, Strathclyde, Scotland - Day Two (Irish interest)
Men Pair - Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 France 6:26.94, 2 Belarus 6:29.06, 3 Italy 6:29.46; 5 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:31.47
Women Lightweight Double Sculls - Repechage One (First Two to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Switzerland 7:03.89, 2 Britain 7:06.04; 3 Ireland (A Casey, D Walsh) 7:11.31.