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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 4 September, 2015

London 2012: Introducing… Sanita Puspure

The Latvian-born rower is next up as we continue to profile Ireland’s Olympic hopefuls.

Event: Single scull rowing

Who is she? Born in Latvia, 30-year-old Sanita Puspure is set to become Ireland’s first female rower at the Olympics since 1980 when Frances Cryan finished seventh in the single scull.

With medals at the World U23 Championship and the World Student Games on her CV, she moved to Dublin in 2006 when her husband found work in Ireland. She won the national senior sculls title in 2009 and again in 2010 before relocating to Cork to be closer to the National Rowing Centre in Inniscarra.

Puspure received her Irish passport in 2011 and immediately began representing Ireland at international level.

Road to London: With only four Olympic places available, Puspure needed to be at her best in the qualifying race in Lucerne in March. Although she was handed a particularly tough draw in lane six, she battled to finish fourth and seal that final spot.

What she says about herself: On qualifying for the Olympics — “It’s the biggest achievement I’ve done so far. Four years ago, I probably would never have dreamed about it.” (

Medal chances? Puspure and Ireland’s high performance director Martin McElroy have targeted the B Final (places 7-12) as a minimum in London this summer. With the right draw and a bit of luck, she could go one better. Jimmy says two…

If you meet her in a bar, ask her… which does she prefer – Dublin or Cork?

On the Twitter: Unfortunately Sanita isn’t on the Twitter herself but if it’s rowing news you seek, meet the guys behind Rowing Ireland’s High Performance Programme. They’re @RIHPP.

If she was a YouTube video, she’d be… something good in the water, like this diving dog. “Don’t think about it!”

YouTube credit: jmiller2107

Read more of TheScore’s “London 2012: Introducing” series here >

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