Tokyo 2020 Day 6: Dickson and Waddilove disqualified from Race 5 and 6 as rowers claim gold

Ben Fletcher loses out in men’s judo; McIlroy and Lowry start steady in men’s golf

Ireland’s Annalise Murphy in the women’s laser radial at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Photo: David Branigan/Inpho

Ireland’s Annalise Murphy in the women’s laser radial at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Photo: David Branigan/Inpho

 
  • Rowing: Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy win gold for Ireland in lightweight men’s double sculls (full report here); Sanita Puspure misses out on women’s singles sculls final; Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska take fifth in women’s pair B final; Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen second in lightweight women’s double sculls B final
  • Judo: Ben Fletcher loses out to Mukhammadkarim Khurramov to exit the men’s -100kg division
  • Shooting: Derek Burnett finishes 26th in men’s trap qualifying
  • Golf: Rory McIlroy two under and Shane Lowry one under after first round asStraka leads at eight under (full report here)
  • Sailing: Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove disqualified from Races 5 and 6; Annalise Murphy wins Race 7 in the women’s laser radial and comes second in Race 8 to move up to 14th overall
  • Swimming: Shane Ryan fourth in his men’s 100m butterfly heat, missing out on semi-finals

Rowing

Cork’s Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy became the first Irish rowers in history to claim a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

The Skibbereen pair, rowing from lane three in the final of the lightweight double sculls, beat Germany into second place over the 2000m course at the Sea Forest Waterway at Tokyo harbour.

Gold medalists Paul O’Donovan and Fintan Mccarthy of Team Ireland pose with their medals after the lightweight men’s double sculls final a on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images
Gold medalists Paul O’Donovan and Fintan Mccarthy of Team Ireland pose with their medals after the lightweight men’s double sculls final a on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

There will be no such joy, however, for Sanita Puspure who finished fifth in her single sculls semi-final, ending her hopes and dreams of winning an Olympic medal at age 39, in this her third Games.

In truth Puspure was never in contention, in fifth from the first checks, which is where she finished, 10 seconds behind the winning boat. Despite her efforts to make some ground on the Russian boat she instead was left trying to catch Anna Sarah Sophie Souwer of the Netherlands in fourth place.

Sanita Puspure dejected after her race. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Sanita Puspure dejected after her race. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Puspure would go on to withdraw from tomorrow morning's B final.

 “Over the past few days I have not been well, and I had to make the difficult decision to withdraw from the Olympic Regatta,” Puspure, who declined to do media interviews after her race, explained in a statement issued by Rowing Ireland.

"This is really disappointing, as I had been going well over the past few months and had hoped to continue this good form. The Olympics is always a big goal so it’s heartbreaking to have to pull out in this manner.”

Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska earlier finished fifth in the women’s pair B final, while Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen took second in their lightweight double sculls B final, meaning they ended up ranked eighth overall.

Sailing

After an impressive day on Sagami Bay at Tokyo 2020, Ireland’s Robert Dickson and Seán Waddilove found themselves disqualified from the day’s results after an equipment rules infringement.

The pair had placed second and fifth for the day shot up the rankings to seventh overall at the halfway stage of the men’s skiff event.

But a spot check on the fleet’s equipment found that the trapeze harnesses used by Irish and Brazilian crews were over the 2kg permitted weight limit.

Tokyo 2020

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In Ireland’s case, the discrepancy amounted to 90 grams but no margin of error is permitted under the rules. It is understood that the Irish equipment was checked by the team three times prior to departure for Tokyo and was compliant.

The result means the Dublin crew drop to 13th place overall with six races remaining to decide the top 10 boats for the medal race final.

Ireland’s Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in the men’s 49er event on Thursday. Photo: Dave Branigan/Inpho
Ireland’s Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove in the men’s 49er event on Thursday. Photo: Dave Branigan/Inpho

Annalise Murphy has given her hopes of reaching the women’s laser radial medals race a huge boost with some brilliant sailing on Thursday morning.

Needing some big finishes in the final few races the Dubliner answered that call by winning the seventh race and coming home in second in the eighth race.

That moves the Rio 2016 silver medallist up to 14th overall with the top-10 after tomorrow’s ninth and 10th races advancing to the final medal race on Sunday.

Golf

Steady if unspectacular, both Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry opened with sub-par rounds as the opening day’s play in the men’s individual tournament at Kasumigaseki Golf Club was disrupted by a lightning storm that caused a delay of almost two and a half hours.

As unheralded Austrian Sepp Straka, ranked 161st in the world and still in search of a breakthrough win on the PGA Tour where he plies his craft, produced a bogey-free 63, eight-under-par, to claim the first round lead, it was more a case of steady as it goes for the two Irishmen.

Shane Lowry plays a shot from a bunker on the 11th hole. Photo: Matt York/AP Photo
Shane Lowry plays a shot from a bunker on the 11th hole. Photo: Matt York/AP Photo

McIlroy, as he has done in Ryder Cups, opted not to wear a cap in the humid conditions and featured four birdies and two bogeys in a 69 for tied-20th, while Lowry, with two birdies and one bogey, signed for a 70 to finish his day’s work in tied-31st in the 60 man field. Both have work to do if they are to manufacture a way into medal contention.

Swimming

Shane Ryan broke the Irish record for the 100m butterfly in his heat, coming home in 52.52 to take fourth in his race.

After missing the backstroke - his best event - with injury earlier in the week an Irish record put a gloss on this year’s Games for Ryan even though his time wasn’t enough to qualify for the semi-finals.

Shane Ryan on the way to finishing fourth in his heat for the 100m butterfly. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Shane Ryan on the way to finishing fourth in his heat for the 100m butterfly. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

‘I’m super happy to end on that, especially after all the injuries I’ve been going through,’ the Irish swimmer said afterwards.

Judo

In the judo, Ben Fletcher also gave it everything, only to lose by a Waza-ari to opponent Mukhammadkarim Khurramov of Uzbekistan in the elimination rounds of the men -100kg. Like his sister Megan, it was a close contest decided late on.

“He started strong, and I probably didn’t match him to start with, but I finished strong,” Fletcher said afterwards. “He managed to score, so he could then defend that. He played it smart, he got a good score. It is difficult, as there are all the what ifs. At the end of the day, I lost. You can analyse it as much as you want but that’s the end result.”

Fletcher fought hard to make these Games having suffered a broken leg earlier on in the year, but he was not going to miss the opportunity to take part. “It was always going to be touch and go to get here. Preparation went as good as it could do. We did everything we could, given the time and unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. If it was any other tournament you probably wouldn’t come back from injury for it, but it is the Olympic Games and there is a lot of effort to qualify. During parts of the qualification process, I was ranked in the top 10 so it was not in my mind to not try and compete.”

Megan Fletcher, who competed in the Women’s -70kg yesterday and was knocked out by eventual silver medallist Michaela Polleres was cheering her brother on from the stands.

“Having Megan here is brilliant. For the two of us, we have been to an Olympic Games together and that’s pretty special. It is really nice for our family as well, obviously we would have liked for it to have gone differently, but it is a big achievement to even be here. It is a big deal for us, and a big deal for us to be able to represent our family in Ireland, especially our family in Bruff, Limerick.”

Shooting

In the men’s trap qualifying, Derek Burnett finished 26th on his fifth appearance at the Olympic Games.

A score of 118 left the Longford man four points off the mark needed to qualify for the top-six final.

Derek Burnett competes in the men’s trap shooting at the Asaka Shooting Range. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire
Derek Burnett competes in the men’s trap shooting at the Asaka Shooting Range. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Burnett picked up where he left off, posting two more 24-shot rounds. He missed his first shot of the day but got into his rhythm after that, finishing his competition as consistently as possible. Competing in his fifth Games - having debuted at Sydney 2000 - Burnett’s score of 118 is just one shot down on the performance that earned him ninth place in Athens.

Speaking afterwards, Burnett acknowledged that his first-round score of 22 hampered his potential qualification chances, saying “the first one was the one that did all the damage, I missed three targets and really, you’re out of the running after missing three targets.

Burnett showed incredible consistency across the final four rounds, but felt he needed a perfect score along the way. “You’re always pushing for a 25, but it just didn’t seem to be in the script here. I shot four 24’s after, and they were all good, but with the level that’s here at this Olympics - it’s just unbelievable.”

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