Female rowers dig deep in elite company at worlds
Despite not making the cut at their first attempt Ireland's women rowers put in some plucky performances on the second day of racing at the world championships in Florida.
The women's pair of Aifric Keogh and Aileen Crowley were up against it in their heat, with the silver and bronze medallists from the World Cup meeting in Lucerne, the USA and Denmark, lining up alongside them on the start.
As the two favourites fought a desperate battle for top honours and the chance to progress direct to Saturday's 'A' final, Keogh and Crowley hung on to claim third.
With 250m to go the UCC/UCD duo upped the rate to eclipse Italy for third by just 0.5 sec while the Americans saw off the Danish challenge to seal their place in the final.
"They've not been together for very long, but they showed they were able to race the Italians - the repechages will tell a lot," said Ireland team manager Susan Dunlea.
Old Collegians sculler Sanita Puspure put in a storming finish to narrow the gap on Swiss champion Jeannine Gmelin in their heat of the women's singles.
The Lucerne gold medallist dominated the race, recording the fastest splits all the way down the course, with Puspure lying in second place ahead of Hannah Osborne of New Zealand.
With 350m to go Puspure narrowed Gmelin's five-second lead to less than a length on the line.
"Sanita had a great race - she's happy and very focused on what she wants to achieve," added Dunlea.