Pure gold as Cork rowers deliver yet again for Ireland on the world stage

Pure gold as Cork rowers deliver yet again for Ireland on the world stage

Sanita Puspure of Ireland celebrates with her gold medal after winning the Women's Single Sculls A final in Poznan, Poland. Picture: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile

IRELAND is celebrating more European rowing medals, this time at senior level. 

A spectacular gold for Ballincollig's Sanita Puspure topped it all off, as she took the win yet again in the women's sculls.

Following the success of our U23 rowers and Junior rowers at their European Rowing Championships, Team Ireland secured four more medals at the 2020 European Senior Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland.

Fintan McCarthy. Picture: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile
Fintan McCarthy. Picture: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile

First up early on Sunday morning, Fintan McCarthy of Skibbereen Rowing Club won bronze for Ireland at men's lightweight sculls. 

This is adding to Fintan's growing medals tally. In 2019 he was part of the crew with Paul O'Donovan who won gold at the World Rowing Championship and qualified the Lightweight Men’s Double boat for the Olympics.   

Later on Tara Hanlon and Emily Hegarty (both of UCC RC) finished fifth in the women's pair final, before Daire Lynch (Clonmel) and Ronan Byrne (UCC) won another bronze for Ireland.

Daire Lynch and Ronan Byrne. Picture: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile
Daire Lynch and Ronan Byrne. Picture: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile

This was followed by the women's four crew of Fiona Murtagh (NUIG), Aileen Crowley (Old Collegians BC), Eimear Lambe (OC) and Aifric Keogh (UCC) putting in a great performance to narrowly miss out on silver when they were pipped on the line to the bronze medal position.

Aifric Keogh, Fiona Murtagh, Eimear Lambe and Aileen Crowley celebrate. Picture: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile
Aifric Keogh, Fiona Murtagh, Eimear Lambe and Aileen Crowley celebrate. Picture: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile

Then came the race where we were always expecting a medal, the only question was which colour. And gold was the expectation, due to the class of Sanita Puspure.

Based on the times of the semi-finals, Sanita was going to be up against it, but had she been holding something back?

She had set a best time last year in Lucerne, and was the defending European champion, as well as double world champion.

Sanita got a steady start, not in the lead from the off, but steadying herself and her pace for the 2,000m ahead.

In the opening quarter she held her pace before powering on through the second quarter to take the lead at the half-way mark. This she built on with powerful strokes opening up a small, but growing lead. 

At the 1500 mark she had clear water over her opponents and powered home with a terrific sprint through the final quarter. 

Sanita Puspure of Ireland celebrates after winning the Women's Single Sculls A final of the 2020 European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland. Picture: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile
Sanita Puspure of Ireland celebrates after winning the Women's Single Sculls A final of the 2020 European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland. Picture: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile

Greece's Anneta Kyridou took the bronze with Austria's Magdalena Lobnig winning silver. 

And the emotions were clear to see when the Ballincollig resident took her deserved gold medal podium spot and basked in the glory of the national anthem.

Ireland's double world and double European champion, such a shame we didn't have an Olympics and we could have been celebrating an Olympic champion.

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