A team of 12 athletes have been selected to represent Ireland at the World Cup 2 in Aiguebelette, France from 20-22 June 2014. This is an important step for Irish crews on the road to the 2016 Olympic Games.
The qualification event for the Olympics, the 2015 World Championships, will be held at the same venue in August next year.
Six of the athletes were selected based on their convincing performances at international events earlier this season: the highlight of which was Sanita Puspure’s bronze medal at the European Championships. She will again compete in the Women’s Single Scull.
Leonora Kennedy and Lisa Dilleen will again compete in the Women’s Pair, hoping to improve on their result from the European Championships, where they finished in fourth place.
Eimear Moran and Monika Dukarska have also been selected to compete in the Women’s Double Scull, the same event in which they won a bronze medal at an international regatta in April.
Paul O’Donovan will again compete in the Lightweight Single Scull, ahead of the U23 World Championships in July, where will be hoping to improve on his bronze medal winning performance last year.
Ireland will be represented in the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull, the only Olympic event for lightweight women, for the first time since 2012 by Claire Lambe and Denise Walsh. Both athletes had a successful season competing in Single Sculls in 2013: Lambe finishing 4th at the European Championships and Walsh finishing 6th in the same discipline at the U23 World Championships. They will be hoping their speed as individuals will translate to a crew boat in their first international race in this combination.
John Keohane also joins the team, in the Men’s Single Scull, after missing the early stages of the 2014 season due to illness. He will be hoping to improve on his performances in 2013 international season, where he finished 17th at the European Championships in the Men’s Single Scull. Last month Keohane competed at the prestigious Metropolitan Regatta in the UK, where he won the Men’s Elite and Senior titles.
Another new combination have been selected to compete in the Lightweight Pair: Niall Kenny and Mark O’Donovan. Both are experienced international competitors: both won a silver medal at the Under 23 World Championships in 2011, and both have years of international experience behind them.
“Our team, looking on the past two international regattas, are performing well.” says High Performance Director, Morten Espersen, “The Women’s Single Scull will be a very challenging event, but hopefully Sanita can again match the Olympic Champion, Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic, as she did at the European Championships. The Women’s Pair have shown great performances, hopefully this time they can get on the podium. This will be the last senior international event before the 2014 World Championships in August. After this regatta there will be a long period of tough training and evaluation of crews”
World Cup 2, Aiguebelette, France
Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd June 2014
Full Irish Team:
Women’s Single Sculls
Sanita Puspure (Old Collegians BC)
Women’s Double Sculls
Eimear Moran (Three Castles RC)
Monika Dukarska (Killorglin RC)
Lisa Dilleen (Grainne Mhaol RC)
Leonora Kennedy (Portora BC)
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls
Denise Walsh (Skibbereen RC)
Claire Lambe (Old Collegians BC)
Men’s Single Sculls
John Keohane (Lee Valley RC)
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls
Paul O’Donovan (UCD BC)
Lightweight Men’s Pair
Niall Kenny (UCD BC)
Mark O’Donovan (UL RC)
AS Men’s Single Scull
Tom Kelly (Commercial RC)
Team Manager: Morten Espersen
Lead Coach: Don Mc Lachlan
HP Coach: John Holland
ISC Physiotherapist: Sarah-Jane McDonnell