Sanita misses out

Sanita Puspure. Photo: Sportsfile

Irish sculler Sanita Puspure missed out on a place in the Olympic semi-final by the narrowest of margins yesterday.

The Latvian-born oarswomen, who now lives in Ballincollig, Cork, put in a storming final 500m in her quarter-final but her heroic effort just fell agonizingly short in the women's single sculls.

In perfect conditions in the Lagoa Stadium the Australian Kimberley Brennan dominated heat 4 leading from start to finish.

Initially she was chased by 44-year-old Ekatorina Karsten from Belarus with a Chinese sculler in third place and Puspure fourth. The gap between third and fourth had stretched to nearly three seconds at the 1500m mark and with only the top three finishers going forward to the 'A' semi-final Puspure's chances looked remote at that point.

But in a dramatic concluding 500m Karsten faded rapidly and was overtaken by the Chinese with Puspure putting in a heroic effort to make the top three. She finished faster than anybody but unfortunately the finish line came too fast and she missed out by .65 of a second.

She will now aim for a place in the 'B' final.