Ireland’s Margaret Cremen, racing for her first time at top international level in the lightweight single sculls, brought Ireland a silver medal at the European Championships in Szeged in Hungary.
The cross headwind and bobbly water meant the scullers had to grit it out, but Cremen is a competitor. Alena Furman, a Belarussian racing in neutral grey, stamped her authority on the race. She left the field behind in the second quarter and raced to gold. Cremen maintained her lone challenge – she was almost seven seconds clear of third-placed Kristyna Neuhortova of the Czech Republic crossing the line.
Cremen said she missed having her companion in the lightweight double, Aoife Casey, who had to pull out due to illness, leaving Cremen to take on the non-Olympic event.
The three other Ireland crews fell outside the medal rankings. The double of Zoe Hyde and Alison Bergin – who has come back from injury – finished fifth, while lightweight single sculler Jake McCarthy did not reproduce the form which saw him win his heat and was sixth in his final.
Paul O’Donovan was second in his B Final of the heavyweight single sculls. It was a finish in the top half of a new event to him – necessitated also by the absence of his lightweight doubles partner, Fintan McCarthy.