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Ireland get off to an impressive start at the World Rowing Championships

Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll have qualified for a final, while Denise Walsh rallied to win her heat.

Image: Srdjan Stevanovic/INPHO

MARK O’DONOVAN and Shane O’Driscoll have qualified for the A final of the lightweight pair at the World Rowing Championships in Florida.

The duo, who have been dominating in their grade this season, stormed to victory in their heat on Sunday to ensure they go directly through to the final on Friday.

That result kick-started Ireland’s day on a positive note, with Paul O’Donovan and Denise Walsh both going on to taste victory in their respective heats.

O’Donovan took first place in heat three of the lightweight single sculls to book his place in the quarter-final. He was forced to face into the competition without his brother Gary, who is ill at the moment.

Denise Walsh had to dig deep to win her lightweight single sculls heat.

Despite being over a length behind Kirsten McCann of South Africa heading into the final quarter, Walsh responded to the challenge and claim first place and secure her spot in the semi-finals.

The men’s pair of Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan and Patrick Boomer took sixth in their heat, and will now look to try and get into the semi-finals via a repechage on Tuesday.

Elswhere, Sanita Puspure is preparing for her single scull heat on Monday, while Aileen Crowley and Aifric Keogh will take to the water for their heat in the women’s pair earlier in the afternoon.

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