AOIFE Casey signed off on her junior rowing days with a terrific B final win at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania.
Partnering Lee Rowing Club's Margaret Cremen in the Irish junior women's double scull, the pair finished seventh overall in the world; a notable result in their first year together.
âIt was a good week's racing,' Skibbereen Rowing Club athlete Casey said.
âIt's a big step up from any regatta we have here at home, it's a world championships, a big set-up, and I think we managed it well.
âThe calibre of athletes, as you'd expect, is very high and I think we did quite well.'
Casey competed with her Skibb clubmate Emily Hegarty in last year's junior worlds where they finished 12th overall, and the Skibbereen Community School student used that experience to her advantage in Lithuania.
âEven from last year to this year I learned so much and I was more prepared for it,' she said.
The Cork duo finished third in both their heat and quarter-final and progressed directly to an A/B semi-final where a top three finish was needed to go into the A final. But finishing behind Great Britain, Italy and China, Casey and Cremen went through to the B final on Sunday morning, which determined the seventh to 12th placings.
Holding off the French crew, the Irish boat finished two seconds (7:38.31) ahead of France with The Netherlands in third, to win the B final and secure a seventh place finish.
âOur best race was our last race, the B final,' Casey said.
âWe had a good semi-final the day before and we wanted to prove to ourselves in the B final that we were able to do it â and we went out with that attitude, and it worked out well.
âThe A final was always the goal but to be the fastest losers, in one sense, was better than coming 12th in the B final.
âFor both of us that was our last race as a junior, it's U23 from next year on, and we know that we gave it our best shot and there's not much more you can do than that.'
Back in May Casey and Cremen also won silver at the European Rowing Junior Championships, the first Irish rowers to ever medal in that competition, so they will take a lot of positives from their international season.