Tokyo 2020: Sanita Puspure through to first Olympic rowing semi-final; Irish crews impress

Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen through to semi-final, along with Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska
Tokyo 2020: Sanita Puspure through to first Olympic rowing semi-final; Irish crews impress

Sanita Puspure wins at Olympic Games to advance to semi-final. Picture: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Team Ireland performed very well on the water again this morning with Irish crews well in contention for Olympic medals.

Aileen Crowley and Monike Dukarska finished third in the women's pairs repéchage to advance to the A/B semi-final on Tuesday morning.

Later the Cork crew of Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen had a good race to get back in their groove and finished third in the lightweight double sculls repéchage, which advances them to the A/B semi-final on Tuesday morning.

"It's surreal almost - we had a really good race today," Aoife told RTÉ after the race.

"We definitely improved from our heat yesterday. [We're] really excited and it's one step closer."

Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey through to semi-final. Picture: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey through to semi-final. Picture: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

"We're delighted to be here but we also want to perform really well also" added Margaret.

And also hitting her groove was Sanita Puspure, who put on a great display in the quarter-finals of the women's single sculls by finishing first in a strong field that included Kara Kohler of the USA, who led for much of the race before Sanita took charge in the closing stages.

This was an important race for Sanita, to break her bad luck streak in the Olympic quarter-finals, where she had missed out on semi-final spots on two occasions previously, at London and Rio.

Sanita later told RTÉ she was beginning to wonder if it was an Olympic 'curse' and that it was on her mind going into the race.

"It was a little bit - is there a curse or something?! But it was good to get it done and a win is a win.

"This is my first Olympic semi-final so that's a step forward from the last two Games. So I'm going to take it one race at a time."

Sanita now goes through to the A/B semi-final on Wednesday morning.

There was disappointment for Ronan Byrne and Phliip Doyle, who finished sixth in the men's double sculls semi-final. They now go forward to race in the B final on Wednesday morning.

The predicted winds began to come into play today, and there are more changes imminent due to the adverse weather forecast.

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