Men's pair in direct route to final
Ireland's rowers had a positive start to the Under-23 World Championships which got under way yesterday in Poznan, Poland.
The lightweight men's pair provided the best result for Ireland supporters, when Shane Mulvaney and David O'Malley stormed down the 2,000m course to claim a direct place in the 'A' final at the weekend when they are looking to improve on third place last year. The UCD men were more than three lengths clear of the field with 500 metres to go, eventually crossing the line 2.78 seconds clear of Germany.
Just 15 minutes later, the lightweight men's quad attempted the same feat, but came under pressure from the USA at the halfway mark. Miles Taylor, Niall Beggan, Ryan Ballantine and Andrew Goff could not respond when the Americans turned the screw, and have a second chance to qualify in today's repechages.
Cork sculler Ronan Byrne was fearless in his heat of the heavyweight single sculls, setting a pace which made the rest of the field look pedestrian. A top-four finish would have been sufficient to qualify for the quarter-finals but the UCC man crossed the line seven seconds clear to qualify.
Ireland's women rowers were also on form when Emily Hegarty and Tara Hanlon qualified for the semi-finals of the women's pairs. "Overall, it was decent start to the championships," said team manager Paul Thornton.