Ireland’s double scull of Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch came like a train in their drive for a podium finish at the European Championships here in Bled. They could not break into the top three – and with that, Ireland’s chance of a medal at this event was gone. Three other A Finals today finished with a fourth, fifth and sixth place for the Ireland team.
The men’s double final was a great race. Croatia’s Sinkovic brothers, Valent and Martin, won by setting a new European Championship record in choppy conditions – they needed to excel to pass and beat Italy. Ireland’s charge was not quite enough to catch the Netherlands, who headed them by .62 of a second.
“We narrowly missed out on the medal. But it’s pretty windy out there today; conditions are different from yesterday,” Doyle said. “We formulated our plan on what we had done yesterday [they excelled in the semi, and finished second to Croatia], because it worked really well: coming strong through the second half of the race. If we had a flatter day, it might have suited us a bit more. With a longer stretch in the race we could have made up a few seconds to push through the Dutch.”
He said that the race showed up some technical difficulties and demonstrated the room for improvement in the Ireland crew.
Siobhán McCrohan produced the fastest final 500 metres but came up .27 shy of a medal in the lightweight single sculls.
The speed was impressive, but McCrohan had left herself a lot to do. Greece, Romania and Turkey had moved through the first three-quarters of the race as if they would rebuff all challengers, while the Irish sculler was sixth at 1500 metres. But McCrohan and Kristyna Neuhortova of the Czech Republic then hit the afterburners as Turkey’s Eliz Obay faded. The Czech flew into third, with McCrohan less than a third of a second behind in fourth at the finish line.
Katie O’Brien and Steven McGowan (below) confirmed that they are a growing force in their A Final of the PR2 Mixed Double. They finished fifth, but while Britain were impressive winners and the Netherlands took a good second place, McGowan and O’Brien were in the mix with Poland and the bronze medallists here, Ukraine, the reigning world champions.
The A Final of the women’s double resolved itself into two races. In the medal positions, Lithuania led Romania and the Netherlands – all the way to the stands, where Romania did what they do and sprinted hard to win gold.
Ireland, Germany and France slid back into a second race. France made the best attempt to bridge the gap in the final 500 metres, whereas Sanita Puspure and Zoe Hyde fell back to sixth.