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Thursday 18 October 2018

Irish U23 team off to flying start

TOP CLASS: UCC rower Ronan Byrne. Photo: John Sheehan
TOP CLASS: UCC rower Ronan Byrne. Photo: John Sheehan

The Irish U23 rowing team gave an outstanding performance on day one of the 2018 World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Poznan, Poland yesterday.

UCC rower Ronan Byrne delivered an exceptional display in the men's single sculls, winning his heat seven seconds ahead of Germany's Marc Weber. He progresses straight to the A final, which takes place on Saturday, as the fastest qualifier of the day.

The Irish lightweight men's pair of UCD's David O'Malley and Shane Mulvaney, who won bronze at the U23 World Championships last year, were also clear winners of their heat, crossing the line seven seconds ahead of Chile.

The pair who stormed down the course at an average rate of 33 strokes per minute were the third fastest qualifiers in their event following both heats and look well positioned to medal on Saturday.

The Irish women's pair of Emily Hegarty (UCC) and Tara Hanlon (Cork Boat Club/UCC) came and admirable third in a competitive heat that saw the USA beat GB into second place.

The Irish women made a sprint for the line, battling with Spain to qualify for the A/B semi-final tomorrow afternoon.

The Irish lightweight men's quad of Niall Beggan (UCD), Miles Taylor (QUBBC) Ryan Ballantine (Newcastle /ERBC) and Andrew Goff (UCD) placed third in their heat, just one second behind France and four seconds behind the USA.

The Irish boat which won bronze in the event last year, had the fourth fastest time in the heats of the event where only the winners qualify for the A final and now proceed to the repechage today in the hope of qualifying for the A/B finals on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, UCC rower Hugh Sutton placed fifth in the lightweight men's single sculls and goes through to repechage today.

The Irish lightweight women's double of Lydia Heaphy (Skibbereen) and Margaret Cremen (Lee RC) race in their heat this morning while twin brothers Fintan and Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen RC) race in the men's double sculls.

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