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Meet Ireland's Olympic team: Sanita Puspure

The Latvian-born rower will be representing Ireland at an Olympics for the second time.

Sanita Puspure Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Event: Women’s single sculls rowing.

Who is she? Puspure returns to the Olympics having made her bow four years ago in London. She won a bronze medal in the European Championships in Germany this year and silver in Belgrade two years ago.

Where’s she from? Born in the Latvian capital of Riga, she moved to Ireland in 2006 and is now a fully adopted Corkonian. Puspure lives in Ballincollig with her husband and two children.

Olympic CV: She was Ireland’s only rowing representative at London 2012, progressing from her heat to the quarter-finals. There, she failed to make it to the semis as a result of a fourth-place finish, with only the top three moving on to the next stage. She ended in 13th place overall.

Road to Rio: The 34-year-old came second in the final of the Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne in Switzerland in May with a time of 7:24.76, having needed to finish in the top four to seal her place in Brazil.

When does she start? Puspure will be the first Irish athlete in action in Rio. Her heat takes place on Saturday, 6 August.

Where can I follow her? Stay up to date with @SanitaPuspure on Twitter.

What she says: “Just being more mature, understanding more what it takes to become an Olympian, being committed enough. It was probably the right time for me when I was a bit older. And the support I get from the country too is massive.” (The42, August 2015)

Medal chances? She’ll be buoyed by her success at the European Championships but repeating that in Rio will be a tall order. Nevertheless, with a little bit of luck, she’s certainly capable of improving on her 13th-place showing four years ago.

Three out of five on our scientifically-developed, patented Jerry Kiernan scale…

jerry3

And here’s something you probably didn’t know… She became Ireland’s first female Olympic rower in 32 years when she competed at London 2012.

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