Rowing: O'Driscoll, Mitchell lead Irish charge
Ireland's rowers put in some promising performances on the second day of racing at the World U-23 Championships in Lithuania yesterday.
And the appearance of a new Irish heavyweight men's four for the first time since 2007 meant that it wasn't just the established favourites who won through to the next round of the competition.
Laura d'Urso and Holly Nixon kicked off a run of Irish success in the qualifying races when they finished third in their heat of the women's double sculls. The duo ran a close second behind experienced Austrians Magdalena Lobnig and Lisa Farthofer, until they were overhauled by the fast-finishing French with 250m to go.
Next up was Lisa Dilleen in the openweight singles, where she qualified directly for her semi-final by finishing second behind Denmark's Rikke Quist.
In the lightweight men's pairs, Shane O'Driscoll and Jonathan Mitchell stamped their authority on the four-boat field, leading from start to finish.
The day finished with a blistering performance by the new men's four, who led their race until the last 250m when they were edged out by Ukraine. Both crews went through.
The crew's US-based strokeman Tom Lynam, together with his crewmates Finbar Manning of UCD and NUIG's Eddy Mullarkey and Sean O'Connor, are the first Irish men's four to contest the U-23 World Championships for five years, and will go forward to the semi-finals with renewed confidence.