MARK O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll will contest the C final of the men’s heavyweight pair at the first World Cup event of the 2018 season, World Cup I in Belgrade, Serbia.
The Skibbereen duo, in their first international competition as heavyweights, were unlucky to miss out on a chance to contest the A/B semi-finals after finishing 1.75 seconds outside the necessary third position in the repechage.
Meanwhile, Gary and Paul O'Donovan were second in their heat in the lightweight men’s double sculls and have progressed to the semi-finals, as have Skibbereen’s Denise Walsh and Margaret Cremen in the lightweight women’s double sculls heats – but they took a longer route.
They finished fifth place in what was their first international race together in the same boat. Later, they needed to place third or higher in the repechage and this they achieved, producing a remarkably improved performance cutting almost 20 seconds off their earlier race time and securing third position behind Poland and the Netherlands.
Aifric Keogh and Skibbereen Rowing Club’s Emily Hegarty, in the women’s pair, secured a third place finish which was enough to progress directly into the A/B semi-finals.
Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska quickly followed suit in Heat 3 of the women’s double sculls, also placing third.
Sanita Puspure was a convincing winner of the first heat in the women’s single sculls, beating the nearest threat of Ukrainian sculler Diana Dymchenko by a margin of just under nine seconds, also ensuring direct qualification to the semi-final stages.
Racing continues for all Irish crews on Saturday in Belgrade from 9:05am.