The Women’s Four A Final takes place on Wednesday July 28th. Here’s everything you need to know as Rowing Ireland look to secure their first medals of the games.
Where does the race take place?
The Women’s Four A Final takes place in the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo.
What time does the race take place?
Who is representing Ireland?
The Women’s Four team consists of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.
Aifric Keogh, a native of Na Forbacha, Galway, is the most experienced of the crew and began rowing in 2006. The 28-year-old has been a member of the High-Performance team for several years.
In 2020, Aifric won Bronze at the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, competing in the Women’s Four and went on to win Silver at the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese.
Cabra’s Eimear Lambe is a member of Old Collegians Boat Club and began rowing in 2012. Alongside her W4- teammates, Eimear won a silver medal in the 2019 World U23 Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida while she also won Bronze at the 2020 European Rowing Championships in the W4- and went on to win Silver at the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese.
NUIG Rowing Club’s Fiona Murtagh won Bronze at the 2020 European Rowing Championships in the Women’s Four and went on to win Silver at the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese.
Emily Hegarty, another from the prolific Skibbereen school, has been rowing for 12 years and won Bronze in the 2020 European U23 Championships in Duisburg in the Women’s Pair. The 23-year-old’s other rowing highlights include winning a silver medal at the 2019 World U23 Rowing Championships in Sarasota and winning the Irish Rowing Championships.
How did they reach the final?
The crew finished second in their heat on Saturday morning and qualified for the A Final in a time of 6.28.99 – just 0.23 seconds off first-placed Australia, who posted an Olympic-best time of 6.28.76
Who are they facing in the final?
The Women’s Four will face rowers from Great Britain, Australia, Netherlands, China and Poland in the final. The Australian team, which consists of Lucy Stephan, Rosemary Poppa, Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre, pipped Team Ireland to the post by just 0.23 seconds in their semi-final and will no doubt provide stiff competition once again.
Netherlands were the winners in the other heat finishing in a time of 06:33.47 and will also be ones to watch while the rest of the nations will be gunning for medals.
What are the conditions like?
While there is the possibility of thunder and some light showers, it will still be 28-30 degrees celsius in Tokyo. While the Irish Rowing team have mentioned the heat, they are well prepared for the conditions.
What are the athletes saying?
“What gives me a lot of confidence, too, when I am in the boat is that I am racing when three women who couldn’t give up within an inch of their lives. I know how hard they are working for this and that makes me want it more.” – Emily Hegarty speaking to The Southern Star.
“I think at this stage we’re looking at medals. We just want to keep building on our success. We were delighted with our performance at the Europeans and we were so close to crews that are medalling on the world stage. So I think why not? Let’s just give it one last big push.” – Aifric Keogh speaking to RTÉ.
“It’s unbelievable to see the girls out there, seeing them in training each day, then going out on the water and showing what they’re made of. Coming up against Australia, it just shows their calibre, 0.2 seconds, there was nothing in it at the finish line.” – Tara Hanlon, the W4- Reserve speaking to Team Ireland.