Rowing: Sanita Puspure wins gold at Memorial Paolo d’Aloja

Doyle and Byrne take bronze in doubles on Saturday but miss out on medal on Sunday

It was a weekend of contrasts for Irish rowing. The international team had a good outing in an early season regatta in Italy, but the hundreds of rowers who hoped to compete in the impressive course in Co Leitrim went away cursing the winds – Lough Rynn Regatta, scheduled for Sunday, was cancelled, while the Irish Schools and University Regatta on the Saturday at the same venue had to be called off early.

Saturday was medals day for the Ireland team at the Memorial Paolo d'Aloja in Piediluco. World champion Sanita Puspure led the charge with gold in the single, while the double of Phil Doyle and Ronan Byrne also continued their good form by taking a bronze. The lightweight double of Jake and Fintan McCarthy matched them.

Trickier conditions

Sunday brought headwinds and trickier conditions. Puspure slotted into an Ireland crew, allowing for two fours to take part in Sunday's A Final. Romania dominated the race, with two crews disappearing into the distance and a third holding of Puspure, Tara Hanlon, Aifric Keogh and Monika Dukarska. The second Ireland four came in fifth.

Byrne and Doyle were in the hunt again but took fifth, while the McCarthy twins looked set for a medal, only to be pipped by Portugal.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

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