Tuesday 17 September 2019

Ireland qualify two more boats for the Tokyo Olympics

Ireland's Sanita Puspure. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images
Ireland's Sanita Puspure. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Sean McGoldrick

Ireland has qualified two more boats for next year’s Tokyo Olympic regatta.

Defending world champion Sanita Puspure comfortably won her semi-final at the world championships in Linz, Austria, to secure a place in Sunday's final and earn automatic qualification for the 2020 Games.

Earlier the double crew of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne also won their semi-final at the championships which carried the additional prize of a place for the boat at next year's Olympics.

Doyle and Byrne gave an assured performance matching the New Zealand crew early on before taking the lead at around the half-way point. They then held off the late charging British and Romanian crews by just under a second.

Romania finished second with the fancied British crew taking third but all three will be in action in the final. The Chinese crew won the other semi-final in a slightly faster time but the Irish will be hopeful of securing a medal in Sunday's final.

On Thursday the lightweight double sculls duo of Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy qualified their boat for the 2020 Games. In both cases, while the boats are assured to a spot in the Tokyo regatta, the actual composition of the crews can be changed.

At the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio, Paul O'Donovan along with his brother Gary, created Irish sporting history when they became the first oarsmen to medal at the Games claiming silver in the lightweight double sculls.

In Linz, Gary O'Donovan has finished fourth in the B final of the lightweight single scull to take tenth place overall.

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport