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Dublin: 3°C Tuesday 13 April 2021
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'All the sacrifices, being away from family and friends are worthwhile' - Olympic finalists Lynch and Lambe

The duo are drawing confidence from their achievement today as they know they can compete with the best in the world.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

THE WEATHER DELAYS in Rio this week means there is a tight turnaround between today’s lightweight double sculls semi-finals and tomorrow’s final (14.32 Irish time).

The job for Sinead Lynch and Claire Lambe now is about keeping an even keel: rest, eat, recover and get a good night’s sleep.

Qualifying for an Olympic final is undoubtedly an achievement worth celebrating and the duo were ecstatic with their third place today. But it also solidified the confidence in their ability to challenge for the podium again tomorrow.

“It was great to know what we need to do is what we can do, it didn’t need a superhuman effort,” Lynch said after coming ashore, while Lambe felt hopeful that they can improve their speed again tomorrow, adding:

“They’re not unbeatable. We’re all weighing in at 57 kilos, so there’s no superhumans out there.”

The immediate concern for the women from Donegal and Dublin though, was to offer the achievement up by way of thanks to the family who supported them along the way.

“Absolutely brilliant,” Lynch exhaled when asked how it felt to be in an Olympic final and the top six of her sport.

Claire Lambe and Sinead Lynch celebrate qualifying for tomorrow's final Lambe and Lynch celebrate qualifying for the final. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“It means all the sacrifices, especially over the last year, being away from family and stuff has been worthwhile.”

“I feel so happy for my parents and Sam’s parents and the au pair looking after Clodagh, Molly and Hannah all this time. It feels I can pay them back something by making the final.”

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Lambe added: “It’s so good, we’ve got so many supporters here in the stand. It’s so cool that they all came out to Rio and to put out a good result to them is hopefully some sort of thank you for all the help and support they’ve given us.”

Lynch’s husband, himself a double Olympian, played his part with a pre-race team-talk and room-mate Sanita Puspure quickly set her own disappointment aside to support the crew today.

Yet when it comes down to it, it’s about two women and two women only. And Lynch and Lambe propelled themselves to the top echelon of their sport as a team.

“Claire read such an amazing race,” said Lynch. “It was a bit bumpy today so my job is to keep the head in the boat and set the rhythm. I was dying to know what was happening, but Claire was keeping me informed: ‘we’re coming up to the Danes’, ‘we’re through the Danes’, ‘let’s use the Canadians to lever on…’


Source: Hotline Rings: Rio 2016/SoundCloud

“We got out nice and clean, got into an early rhythm and we know once we’re in our rhythm we can be really fast. But we knew we had to be there or there abouts in the last 500. We knew we had to be controlled to get to the line.”

- Reporting by Niall Kelly in Rio de Janeiro.

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Sean Farrell

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