Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Morgan Treacy/INPHO Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy.
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Ireland's Olympic medalists dominate rowing heats at the European Championships in Munich
A round-up of the Irish in action on the water in Germany.

OLYMPIC GOLD-MEDALISTS Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy progressed directly to the ‘A’ final of the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls by winning their heat at the European Championships in Munich today. 

O’Donovan and McCarthy finished almost six seconds clear of second-placed Switzerland, who were represented by Jan Schaeuble and the ironcially-named Raphael Ahumada Ireland. 

O’Donovan and McCarthy trailed the Swiss side by half-a-second at the race’s midway point, but surged clear with their trademark strong finish to take the only automatic final spot on offer. 

The other five crews all now go to the repechage: Czech Republic finished third behind the Swiss, with Great Britain fourth, Spain fifth, and Ukraine sixth. 

The Italian boat qualified for the final from the second heat, and the final is scheduled for 11.26am Irish time this Sunday, 14 August. 

It was an equally impressive morning for Ireland’s women’s four of Natalie Long, Tara Hanlon, Aifric Keogh and Eimear Lambe, who qualified directly for their final by winning their heat. The Irish quartet led throughout the entire race and finished three seconds clear of Denmark, who also advance to the final. Third-placed Netherlands, fourth-placed Poland and fifth-placed Germany all head to the repechage. Great Britain and Romania progressed to the final from the other heat. 

The final is slated for 11.16am Irish time this Saturday, 13 August. 

Elsewhere today, the Irish women’s eight – featuring the aforementioned women’s four along with Zoe Hyde, Sanita Puspure, Fiona Murtagh, Emily Hegarty, and coxswain Leah O’Regan – missed out on an automatic place in their final, finishing in second place in their heat, two seconds behind the Netherlands. They will compete in the repechage on Friday at 10.08am Irish time. 

The women’s pair of Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty finished third of five boats in their heat and thus drop into the repechage, while in the women’s double sculls, Sanita Puspure and Zoe Hyde finished second behind the Netherlands to book a spot in the semi-finals. 

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sanita-puspure-and-zoe-hyde Morgan Treacy / INPHO Sanita Puspure (left) and Zoe Hyde. Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

In the Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls, Aoife Casey finished in fourth place, 16.69 seconds behind another Dutch rower, Martine Veldhuis, meaning she too drops into the repechage. 

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls partners Lydia Heaphy and Margaret Cremen are also repechage-bound, finishing second in their heat, 11.34 seconds behind Great Britain. 

Finally, in the preliminary stages of the PR2 Mixed Double Sculls, Steven McGowan and Katie O’Brien finished fourth, and will now compete in the ‘A’ final, on Sunday morning, at 10.52am Irish time. 

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