Thursday 23 May 2019

Rowing: D’Urso, Dilleen just miss out

Despite a mammoth effort, Laura d'Urso and Lisa Dilleen missed a podium finish by the narrowest of margins in the women's double sculls at the World Junior championships in France on Saturday.

Their fourth place finish was the best recorded by Irish rowers at the event, beating the fifth position of Gearoid Towey in the junior men's single sculls in 1995.

Germany took gold ahead of the Czech Republic, with China beating Ireland to the bronze.

The German crew rowed a carbon copy of their Friday semi-final, going off hard and fast ahead of d'Urso and Dilleen, who hung on to second place after 500m. But the early burn had taken its toll on the Irish. As the Germans extended their lead, d'Urso and Dilleen were overtaken for silver by the Czechs at halfway, while China eased through for bronze approaching the final stretch.

With gold medals to their credit at last year's Coupe de la Jeunesse and the big event in Munich last May, the Irish duo are no slouches in major occasions.

But other athletes in the field were facing their second or even third world championships.

“There was a lot of experience out there and it was that intangible knowledge that got the rest ahead,” said their coach, Gearoid Mitchell. Junior days are now over for Dilleen, from Tribesmen, and d'Urso from City of Derry, who move into the U-23 bracket from next year.

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