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