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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 23 September, 2018
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'I found yesterday very emotional seeing the boys winning gold. I wanted the anthem to be playing for me as well'

Sanita Puspure secured Ireland’s second gold medal in as many days at the World Championships in Bulgaria.

The 36-year-old has been crowned women's single sculls world champion.
The 36-year-old has been crowned women's single sculls world champion.

SANITA PUSPURE WAS humbled by the gold medal she secured at the World Championships in Bulgaria on Sunday morning, as the 36-year-old was crowned world champion in the women’s single sculls.

The Latvia-born rower powered to a five second victory, securing her first ever World Championship medal with a stellar display to make an exceptional return from her fourth place finish 12 months ago.

“I still can’t believe it, in a way. I’ve been thinking about seeing myself on the podium for the past week,” she told RTÉ Sport.

“When I did my heat I thought I might have a really good chance to do it. But almost knowing that gets you a bit more nervous. So I’m kind of used to being an underdog.”

The sculler said that past disappointments, featuring repeated fourth place finishes and needing to pull out of both the European Championships and a World Cup regatta due to injuries this year, made this weekend’s success even sweeter.

“That was the biggest fear because I’m so used to being disappointed, so this is very new to me. It means the world to me and to my family and to the team — it’s great.”

Her achievement sees Ireland claim their second rowing world champion in as many days, following Gary and Paul O’Donovan’s gold medal display in the men’s lightweight double sculls on Saturday morning.

The two-time Olympian said that seeing the Skibbereen brothers bring home the gold made for added motivation to achieve first place herself.

“I found yesterday very emotional seeing the boys winning the gold. I wanted the anthem to be playing for me as well. So I can’t believe it’s actually happened,” she said.

Sanita Puspure on the way to winning her heat Sanita Puspure in action at the World Championships. Source: Detlev Seyb/INPHO

The world champion added that she hoped her gold medal would inspire her own kids in the future, explaining that her children’s support were key to maintaining calm and composure during her week of build-up in Plovdiv.

“Fake it until you make it,” she laughed when asked how she had sustained her levels of concentation during her 7:20:12 performance.

“I wasn’t relaxed at all. My girls kept me entertained this morning, so thanks to them I was a bit more relaxed coming into it.

“I hope they take something from this. They’ve seen me train really hard, especially this year. The schedule has been pretty tight and tiring, so it’s great to get something back for this.” 

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Aaron Gallagher

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