Sanita Puspure took another step to establishing herself in the elite of a major Olympic event at the weekend. Puspure reached the A Final of the women’s single sculls at the World Cup Regatta in Aiguebelette in France with a third-place finish in her semi-final. She never gained traction in the final yesterday and finished sixth. It was a good illustration of the next step Puspure and the other Ireland crews must target.
Two other Olympic-class crews finished in places which qualify their boats for Rio 2016 if they can hold their position through next year's World Championships. The newly-created lightweight double scull of Claire Lambe and Denise Walsh finished fifth in their B Final, 11th overall. They were in touch in the semi-final but finished sixth; yesterday they improved one place on that.
The women's pair of Lisa Dilleen and Leonora Kennedy finished third in the B Final yesterday, a creditable ninth place. But the United States broke their majestic eight (World and Olympic champions) into four pairs. Three ended up in the Irish semi-final and took the three A Final places. Paul O'Donovan won the B Final of the lightweight single sculls to finish seventh overall, while late addition Mark O'Donovan won the C Final to finish 13th. At Women's Henley, Galway pararower Katie O'Brien won on her debut.