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Lydia Heaphy finishes second in lightweight single sculls repechage to make it 10 Irish in World Rowing semi-finals

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Irish rower Lydia Heaphy. Picture: rowingireland.ie

Irish rower Lydia Heaphy. Picture: rowingireland.ie

Irish rower Lydia Heaphy. Picture: rowingireland.ie

Lydia Heaphy brought Ireland’s tally of semi-finalists to 10 at the World Rowing Championships in Racice in the Czech Republic.

The UCC woman had to finish in the top two of her repechage of the lightweight single sculls to avoid dropping into the C/D semi-finals. She shot off the start at more than 50 strokes per minute and had a clear lead over a group of three challengers, Greece, Algeria and Australia, at the 500 metre mark.

The Greek rower Zoi Fitsiou took over the lead at 950 metres and went on to win. But Heaphy tracked her closely, and was well clear of the other crews at the line.

Katie O’Brien and Steven McGowan had the same target in their heat – if they finished in the top two of the PR2 Mixed Double they would go directly to the A Final of this Paralympic event.

The race became a battle between Ukraine, the Netherlands and the Irish, who raced hard and were constantly in touch but could not push into second place. Ukraine won from the Dutch and Irish, who go on to a repechage on Thursday and can still make Saturday’s final.

O’Brien is also set to compete in the four-boat final of the PR2 single sculls.

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