Wednesday 12 December 2018

Gold for Ireland! Sanita Puspure powers to world championship glory after dominant final performance

16 September 2018; Sanita Puspure of Ireland celebrates following her victory in the Women's Single Sculls Final on day eight of the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
16 September 2018; Sanita Puspure of Ireland celebrates following her victory in the Women's Single Sculls Final on day eight of the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Sanita Puspure took home Ireland's second gold medal of the World Rowing Championships after a stellar performance in the women's single sculls in Bulgaria.

Puspure started out strongly, taking the lead from the beginning and was never challenged throughout. The Latvian-born rower pulled away from her rivals to finish first, matching the O'Donovan brothers in claiming gold for Ireland.

Puspure won at a canter following a remarkable display, with Switzerland finishing second and Austria taking bronze.

Puspure has previously represented Ireland at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games. She initially competed for Latvia at underage level but moved to Ireland in 2006. The 36-year-old first represented Ireland in 2010.

Puspure's gold medal continues a remarkable world championships for Ireland after Gary and Paul O'Donovan won gold in the lightweight men's double sculls on Saturday.

Read more: 'People thought we went there to party' - O'Donovans reveal how a trip down under propelled them to gold medal glory

Italy led off the blocks, with the O'Donovans lying back in fourth place after 500m and refusing to be fazed by the opposition. After 850m the Skibbereen duo pushed on hard and destroyed the Italians' lead within the space of 100m, but Oppo and Ruta went with them, as the two doubles broke well clear of the trailing pack.

And Italy had one more surprise, ratcheting up the rate with 200m to go in a last-ditch attempt to deny Ireland the gold, but the O'Donovans held on to cross the line in first place.

Read more: 'He was buckled' - O'Donovan brothers joke night on the town with rivals set them up for world glory

Ireland's rowers have been winning gold medals at these championships for years, notably in 2001, when Sinead Jennings, Sam Lynch, Gearoid Towey and Tony O'Connor shared three gold medals in Lucerne. But those were in the lightweight single sculls and the lightweight men's pairs, all of which lie outside the Olympic programme.

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