Sanita Puspure the latest to reach Rio

Irish rower comes through Olympic qualification regatta in Lucerne

Ireland’s tally of rowing crews for Rio notched up to three as Sanita Puspure produced a confident performance to take second place in the single sculls at the Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne in Switzerland.

Puspure had the form and the power to take one of the four places, and this time she also had the self-belief. She was fifth through halfway, but she passed three scullers from there and sprinted to within three seconds of winner Emma Twigg of New Zealand on the line. Double Olympic gold medallist Ekaterina Karsten booked her place in her sixth Olympics by finishing third and Denmark's Fie Udby Erichsen, a silver medallist in London, took fourth.

Puspure, who is 34, said that work with Ireland coach Don McLachlan has left her strong. “In the three years Don has been working with me I have improved. We now have the fruit of those years. It’s exciting in a way,” she said. “We think it is just the beginning.”

McLachlan had his race plan vindicated: “We knew physiologically that she was in great shape and could come strong at the end.”


Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe, also qualified for Rio, rushed to congratulate Puspure. The begin their World Cup in Lucerne on Friday.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in rowing