Rowing: World Cup offfers fresh chance for Sanita Puspure

Single sculler looking for a productive year following her Olympic disappointment

 Sanita Puspure  competing for Ireland  in the Women’s Single Sculls at the Olympic Games in Rio. Photograph:  by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Sanita Puspure competing for Ireland in the Women’s Single Sculls at the Olympic Games in Rio. Photograph: by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

 

Should young people doing exams continue to compete in sport?

It is a very live issue just now. Recent studies back up the contention that it is possible to combine rowing and academic excellence.

At Portadown Regatta on Saturday the mix will be a real-time one: RBAI asked the organisers if they could provide a room to which rowers could retreat to dedicate time to their books and the club plans to facilitate them.

The entry numbers for Portadown have hit a new high. There are over 200 crews involved and there will be 167 races.

Carrick-on-Shannon and Neptune join Ulster clubs in the draw, and there is a good mix of ages. Portadown is celebrating 140 years as a club and, like so many Irish rowing clubs, has experienced a big upswing in youth ranks. There are now over 100 members.

The 2016 Olympic Games boosted the numbers coming into the sport and in the week ahead the Ireland team compete in a full international event for for the first time since their exploits in Rio.

The first World Cup regatta, in Belgrade in Serbia, begins on Friday, May 5th. The entry is patchy – there are, for instance, no entries at all for the men’s lightweight four, recently removed from the Olympic programme.

Olympic silver medallists Paul and Gary O’Donovan take on 15 other crews, but just one from the ‘A’ Final of the lightweight double sculls in Rio – and Poland have changed one member of their crew. Britain fields two crews, one featuring Peter Chambers (a Coleraine man).

Lightweight pair

The Ireland lightweight pair of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll have just three crews pitted against them but one of these is the British crew of Sam Scrimgeour and another Coleraine man, Joel Cassells.

The Ireland team member who might benefit most from the competition is Sanita Puspure. The single sculler has a chance to make a new start after her Olympic disappointment.

In Rio ‘her place’ in the semi-finals went to seven-time Olympian Ekaterina Karsten, who pipped Puspure for the third qualification place in a quarter-final held in rough conditions. Karsten, who has taken two gold, two bronze and a silver medal from her extraordinary Olympic run, turns 45 in June.

Puspure (35) could have a very productive year, and a good start would be to put the Belarussian behind her and take a medal.

The biggest hitters in the 12-strong line-up are Olympic finalists Jeanine Gmelin of Switzerland (who finished fifth) and Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig (6th). Karsten finished 8th in Rio, Puspure 13th.

The Ireland team for the European Junior Championships in Germany in May 20th and 21st will consist of four crews: a men’s and women’s pair, a men’s quadruple and a women’s double. Single sculler Hannah Scott did not make herself available for selection.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.