Olympic qualifying regatta, Poznan

June 16, 2008

The heavyweight men’s pair (M2-) of Sean Casey and Jonno Devlin was first out on the water for the Irish this morning. Two Olympic qualifying spots are up for decision in their boat class at this regatta. The Irish duo had the Canadian crew in their heat, who, after winning gold at the last World Cup in Lucerne are firm favourites to win one of the qualifying places.

As expected the Candians led from start to finish in the heat with Casey and Devlin stamping their authority on second place ahead of Hungary and Moldova in third and fourth respectively. The top three crews from each heat progressed directly to Tuesday’s semi-finals, which brings them the benefit of a rest day tomorrow, when those that missed out today must race in the repechages for a second shot at making the semi-finals.

The lightweight men’s double (LM2x) of brothers; Eugene and Richard Coakley followed shortly after in their heat. There was good news for this lightweight double field; the biggest at this regatta with seventeen entries, as FISA (the international federation for Rowing) confirmed that the top three boats in Wednesday’s final will now qualify for Beijing, and not just the top two as originally planned.

The Irish double had a good row in this their first competitive outing together to finish second behind the Czech Republic in their heat, and book a direct semi-final place on Tuesday. Cathal Moynihan and Eugene Coakley switched seats earlier in the week with Moynihan moving into the lightweight four and Eugene taking his place in the double.

Irish lightweight coach John Holland was happy with how they fared: “Our plan for the race worked; to go for direct qualification for the semi-final and have the rest day tomorrow. We had a very good push around the 750metre mark; we stamped our authority on second place before the 1000metre point and that was it. They had a good row, they had a good performance. I’m quite pleased.”

The men’s lightweight four (LM4-) of Paul Griffin, Richard Archibald, Gearoid Towey and Cathal Moynihan are the only Irish boat in action tomorrow. In their morning heat they face Serbia, Spain, South Africa, Ukraine and Portugal with only the winner to progress directly to the A final on Wednesday. The remaining crews will advance to repechages on Tuesday.

For competition schedule, live results and commentary visit www.worldrowing.com
Results & schedule for Irish team at final Olympic Qualifier , Poznan, Poland
Sun 15th June 2008 (Irish times quoted)

M2- Heavyweight Men’s Pair
2nd in heat, directly into semi-finals @ approx 9am Tues 17th
Sean Casey (Muckross)
Jonno Devlin (Oxford Brookes BC)
LM2x Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls

2nd in heat, directly into semi-finals @ approx 9.54am Tues 17th
Eugene Coakley (Skibbereen)
Richard Coakley (Skibbereen)

LM4– Lightweight Men’s Four, race in heat @ 10am Mon 16th
Paul Griffin (Muckross)
Richard Archibald (Lady Victoria BC)
Gearoid Towey (Fermoy)
Cathal Moynihan (Neptune)

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