Holly Davis is competing in her third World Championships – and she is just 18. The Lee Valley woman took silver at the World Junior Championships, in the double with Rachel Bradley, in 2021. She also competed last year.
Racing in the single at the World Under-19 Championships today in Paris, she was simply dominant in her heat, winning from South Africa and Italy.
The first four went through to quarter-finals, with just three of the 27 competitors losing out.
The two Ireland doubles – Kate Reidy and Ayla O’Neill and Zach Meegan and Shane Rafferty – were very competitive in their heats, but second placings see them face into repechages.
The women’s race was extraordinarily close between four crews until the final quarter. Germany, Australia, Ireland and Norway contended for the one spot which would secure direct qualification for the semi-final. With 500 metres to go it became a battle between Ireland in lane one and Norway on the far side in lane six. With 1850 gone, Norway had wrestled the lead from their opponents and did not relinquish it.
Meegan and Rafferty hit 50 strokes per minute in heat four of the men’s double – but Turkey still led them out. The Turkish crew were under fierce pressure from Switzerland and Ireland, and it was these two which fought it out over the final quarter. Even as Ireland hit 41 strokes per minute, it was the Swiss who came through to win by 1.04 seconds.
These Championships were delayed one day due to bad weather on Wednesday and it has been raining in Paris today.