Saturday 7 December 2019

Mitchell breezes through in lightweight sculls

Robert Treharne Jones

After a promising opening gambit on Wednesday evening, Ireland's rowers were yesterday pitted against the best in the world at the U-23 championships in Amsterdam.

And whereas lightweight sculler Jonathan Mitchell qualified comfortably for the next round, it was a different story for Claire Lambe and Sarah Dolan in the lightweight double.

In a race led by the experienced Austrians Stefanie Borzacchini and Christina Sperrer, the Irish duo were hanging on in fourth place behind Canada and Germany.

Then, with 500m left to run, the Germans stepped on the gas to blitz their way to the front, and not even a late charge by Lambe and Dolan could impact on the first three qualifying slots.

The Dublin athletes now have another chance in their repechage today.

Mitchell will have learned much from his opening heat of the lightweight singles in which he made his international debut. In a race dominated by young German Roman Acht, Mitchell was able to ease off the pressure as the fourth-placed Chilean Cristian Gainza Lein slipped out of contention.

Mitchell qualified for today's quarter-final behind the German winner and second-placed Swede Oskar Russberger.

Ireland's third appearance in Amsterdam came from Lisa Dilleen in the women's openweight single.

Bulgarian-born Iskra Angelova, now representing Azerbaijan, led the race from start to finish, with Lithuania's Donata Vistartaite qualifying in second place, leaving Dilleen in today's repechages after finishing fourth behind Ukraine.

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