Four Irish boats raced on the third day of rowing at the Tokyo Olympics. Three boats qualified for the A/B Semi-Finals and the Men’s Double will race in the B Final.
Ireland’s women moved steadily through the rounds on the third day of racing at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo, where the women’s single, the women’s pair, and the lightweight women’s double are safely through to the semifinals. But there was disappointment for Phil Doyle and Ronan Byrne in the men’s pair, where the world silver medallists failed to qualify for Wednesday’s final.
Sanita Pušpure proved the dominant force in her quarter-final of the women’s single sculls, where the Paraguayan sculler, Alejandra Alonso, was first to show off the blocks. But the South American rapidly ran out of steam, as Kara Kohler, the 2019 bronze medallist from the USA, slipped into the lead, with Puspure biding her time in the pack. Kohler was still leading China’s Jiang Yan at 1000m, where Puspure made her move, taking the lead with the fastest split to 1500m, and crossing the line clear of the USA and China. All three leading scullers are now qualified for Thursday’s semifinal.
The brutal qualification rules in the four-boat repechage of the women’s pair meant that the last placed crew would be eliminated from the regatta, but Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska quickly established the lead over China, Greece and the USA. Ireland were still leading after 500m, where Greece’s Maria Kyridou and Cristina Bourmpou put the hammer down to overhaul Ireland and take on the lead, which they never let go. Crowley and Dukarska traded punches with the Americans, Megan Kalmoe and Tracy Eisser, but it was the US crew which prevailed, hanging on to second place behind Greece, with Ireland third, and China dropped in fourth place.
Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen went off hard and fast in their repechage of the lightweight women’s doubles, where they shared the early lead with Switzerland and Vietnam. But the Swiss double of Patricia Merz and Frederique Rol burned away at 36 strokes a minute to take a clear lead and, as the Vietnamese double faded, Ireland held off the Russians, Anastasia Lebedeva and Maria Botalova. A punishing third quarter saw the Russians take the lead, but all three crews were level at 1750m and, in a burst for the line, Switzerland finished a canvas clear of Russia with Ireland 0.7 seconds back in third, and all three crews progress to the semifinals.
But the day ended in heartache for Ireland’s Ronan Byrne and Phil Doyle in their semifinal of the men’s double sculls.. A difficult heat on Friday, plus a hiccup during yesterday’s repechage, seemed to have rocked their confidence, and they trailed in sixth place behind race leaders France, Great Britain and Poland. Byrne and Doyle will now contest the B final for places 7-12 on Wednesday.
The day’s racing finished with an announcement that Tuesday’s programme had been cancelled because of the adverse weather forecast in Tokyo. With Monday’s programme already rescheduled the athletes now have a two-day break before racing resumes on Wednesday. While the race times have yet to be rescheduled, it is confirmed that the W2-, LM2x, and LW2x events have been rescheduled to Wednesday, while the next W1x event will now be held on Thursday. Rowing Ireland will provide updates as more information is released.
Day 3 Results
- Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 4th – 07:31.99
- Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 3rd – 07:23.46
- Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Puspure – 1st – 07:58.30
- Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 6th – 06.49.06
Next Irish Races (Confirmed)
Wednesday 28th Racing (IST)
- Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Ronan Byrne & Philip Doyle – 12:20
- Women’s Four (W4-) – Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Emily Hegarty & Fiona Murtagh – 01:50
- Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – Fintan McCarthy & Paul O’Donovan – 03:30
- Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – Margaret Cremen & Aoife Casey – 03:40
- Women’s Pair (W2-) Monika Dukarska & Aileen Crowley – 04:20
Thursday 29th Racing (IST)
- Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Sanita Puspure – 02:30