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Puspure: 'You just think about the next race and not the race that you may be doing in a week’s time'

One of Ireland’s biggest medal hopes at the Olympics, Sanita Puspure got off to a winning start in Tokyo.

While you were sleeping: The two-time world champion comfortably won her heat.
While you were sleeping: The two-time world champion comfortably won her heat.

IRISH WORLD CHAMPION Sanita Puspure says she is taking it ‘one race at a time’ after her winning start in the women’s single sculls at the Tokyo Olympics.

Puspure, the world champion in both 2018 and 2019, is one of Ireland’s biggest medal hopes for the Games.

The 39-year-old, born in Latvia but a long-time resident of Ireland, won her heat at the Sea Forest Waterway with more than eight seconds to spare to cruise through to the quarter-finals.

“It was okay, first race done,” Puspure said. “I’m taking it one race at a time, not thinking too far ahead, calm and collected.”

She is well aware that expectations in Ireland, where her husband and two children are among those watching, are sky high.

“I read all the messages, I don’t reply to them but I soak in all the positive energy and positive vibes from home and I’ll get back to all the people who wished me well after the Games,” she added.

“We had a really good training camp in Italy so we’ll just have to wait and see. You just think about the next race that you have to do and not the race that you may be doing in a week’s time.”

Conscious to keep her feet firmly on the ground, she noted that there’s room for improvement going forward in an interview with RTÉ.

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“It was good to get the first race done and dusted. The start could have been better but we will work on it. It wasn’t too hard today but it is going to get harder as it goes along. If I was third, it wouldn’t make much difference.

“It was a comfortable win so it was good to get a good race out of the way. Every race I do just brings my psychology up a little bit as well.”

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