Irish crews stay in hunt for U-23 medals
Ireland's crews are all in the hunt for medals at the World Under-23 Championships in Poland, where yesterday's heats of the lightweight double sculls saw both men's and women's crews safely through to the semi-finals.
In the men's event, Jacob and Fintan McCarthy remained unfazed by the Italian world champions alongside. Gabriel Soares, the 2017 gold medallist, led the heat with his new partner, Alfonso Scalzone, while the Skibbereen twins bided their time until the halfway mark, where the two crews were rating 38 and well clear of the trailing field. With 500 metres to go the McCarthys piled on the pressure to get ahead of the Italians, and then blew them away, crossing the line seven seconds clear to force them into the repechages.
Also safely through are Skibbereen's Lydia Heaphy and Margaret Cremen of Lee RC who led their heat of the women's event before being overhauled by Susannah Duncan and Danielle Semple of Great Britain after 750 metres. But with the two leaders qualifying directly, Heaphy and Cremen stuck to their guns to stay clear of Poland in third.
UCC's Hugh Sutton sculled a mature race in his repechage of the lightweight singles to add his own name to the semi-finals roster, while Ireland's lightweight quad made amends for a disappointing heat on Wednesday by dominating their own repechage to lead from start to finish.
Portora's Ryan Ballantine, the three man in the quad, reflected on their previous race.
"It didn't quite to go according to plan, but we sculled a controlled race today and now we're back in the progression" he said.
"They stuck to their plan and they executed it - overall, everyone is happy that they performed as they should have," added Ireland team manager Paul Thornton.