It has been a hugely successful World Cup II for the Irish crews in Poznan. Out of the eight crews competing, six of them are coming home with medals. Ireland had the fourth highest medal haul of the weekend.
Katie O’Brien and Steven McGowan started off the morning of A Finals in the PR2 Mix2x. Against tough competition, the new Irish crew placed fourth in the final. With Katie’s dominant win in the PR2 W1x yesterday, and the collected rowing displayed in the mixed 2x, there’s a lot more to come from this Galway crew.
The W2- of Emily Hegarty and Fiona Murtagh set off the medal streak with a bronze medal in their final. Coming up to the half way mark the crew were bow ball to bow ball with the crew from Czech Republic. With each stroke, the crew in that third place position swapped back and forth, but it was the rowers from NUIG and UCC that held out and secured the medals.
Half an hour later, it was Sanita Puspure and Zoe Hyde who had their time on the podium. In the medal positions from the start, the crew went out as they intended to finish. Coming into the last few hundred meters the Chinese crew put in a big push to try to come through the Irish, but the Irish crew made it over the line first and secured their silver medals.
The LW2x of Margaret Cremen from UCC and Lydia Heaphy from Skibbereen RC came into the finish line with not only the bronze medals, but one of the most exciting races of the day. The Irish double took off the starting blocks at a rate of 55 strokes per minute, leaving the rest of the field behind in those first few strokes. As the race developed, USA and Australia began to pull away but there was nothing separating the rest of the crews. Approaching the finish line, there was no telling who was coming home with the medals. It came down to a photo finish between the crew from Ireland and the crew from China, but it was the Irish that made it across first and won the bronze medals. In the end, there was only 0.3 seconds separating the crews from second place to fourth place.
Finishing off World Cup II on a high, the W4- of Eimear Lambe (Old Collegians BC), Tara Hanlon (UCC), Aifric Keogh (DULBC), and Natalie Long (Killorglin RC) came in winning the bronze medal and rounding up the Irish medal tally to six. An impressive final burst in the last 500m, moved the Irish crew from fifth place up to the bronze medal position. There was nothing that the crews from USA and New Zealand could do to stop the Irish coming through them, as they were the fastest boat on the water coming into the finish.
Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, said: “We are all very happy and delighted with the results from this weekend’s racing. We have gathered the information that we needed for our internal assessment. We know where we are and where we need to go for the rest of the season. This was the first big international competition post Tokyo and the whole team raced at their best. Taking home six medals across para, lightweight and heavyweight rowing is a difficult feat. The coaches and all the individual crews will go through a deep review and prepare the next phase which will see the selection of the European Championships. Congratulations to all the Irish athletes, staff and coaches on their medal wins and strong performances.”
Rowing Ireland’s CEO, Michelle Carpenter, said: “It’s been exciting for our team to get back out to World Cup racing and return to one of our favourite courses in Poznan, Poland. This infamous World regatta course is where many of our athletes raced during their junior pathways.
With six out of eight crews medalling putting us in a good position, we are pleased now that the team have a pulse check going into the World Championships and ultimately the Paris Olympic cycle.
Well done to our dedicated HP team Director, Antonio, our incredible team of coaches and staff, Giuseppe, Dominic, Conor and Michael and all our competing athletes backed up by our HP committee and committed board. A massive thank you to Sport Ireland and Sport NI and our loyal sponsors who continue to support us on our journey.”
- PR2 W1x – Katie O’Brien – Gold Medal (World Record)
- LM1x – Fintan McCarthy – Silver Medal
- LM1x – Gary O’Donovan – 5th B Final
- PR2 Mix2x – Katie O’Brien, Steven McGowan – 4th Place
- W2- Fiona Murtagh, Emily Hegarty – Bronze Medal
- W2x – Zoe Hyde, Sanita Puspure – Silver Medal
- LW2x – Margaret Cremen, Lydia Heaphy – Bronze Medal
- W4- Eimear Lambe, Tara Hanlon, Aifric Keogh, Natalie Long – Bronze Medal
Photo Credits: World Rowing www.worldrowing.com/gallery