Nixon lands historic silver
Published 08/08/2011 | 05:00
ROWING: Portora sculler Holly Nixon made history yesterday for Ireland at the World Junior Championships at Eton, WRITES Robert Treharne Jones .
A silver medal in the women's single sculls event gave Ireland its first-ever medal in almost 40 years of entries at this prestigious international event.
After winning her semi-final in a time almost two seconds faster than the winner of the other semi, Anne Beenken of Germany, Nixon had a chance at the world title. But after Ireland's finest led the first half, the German raised her game with 500m to go and the duo raced neck-and-neck for the line, with
Beenken squeezing across the finish 1.56secs clear.
"Ireland hasn't won a world medal in a long time so I took it on my shoulders to get it for them," said Nixon afterwards.
Ireland sent just two athletes to Eton, with both reaching the 'A' finals after Paul O'Donovan won his semi of the men's singles. But the Skibbereen sculler came unstuck in the final, where his tactics of moving late through the field failed to give him a podium finish. Stephan Riemekasten of Germany took the gold, with O'Donovan finishing fourth. "We couldn't have asked for more -- we're delighted," said Ireland junior coach Derek Holland.