Two Ireland crews set for the Paris Olympics won their heats at the World Cup regatta in Poznan today.
The women’s pair of Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh (above) took on the second crews of Australia and the Netherlands and beat both as they turned a small early lead into a comfortable win which lifts them into Sunday’s A Final. Keogh said they expected a tail wind but found it had switched around.
The world champions, Ymke Clevering and Veronique Meester of the Netherlands, are not competing. This sets up an arm wrestle on Sunday for top spot between Ireland and Australia One, who were much faster than Ireland in their heat win.
The men’s double of Daire Lynch and Philip Doyle, who has recently had a rib injury, had an impressive win in their heat. They face into a semi-final (8.45 Irish time) on Saturday.
Ireland’s men’s pair in Poznan is the young crew of Jack Dorney and John Kearney. They took second behind Croatia’s Valent and Martin Sinkovic in their heat and compete in Saturday’s repechage. 
The day ended with two encouraging results.
Konan Pazzaia qualified for the semi-final of the single sculls through a good win in his repechage. He had earlier finished third in his heat
Tiarnán O’Donnell’s good form in the PR2 single is remarkable. He doggedly chased world champion Marinus de Koning down the course in the preliminary race, finishing 4.79 seconds behind the dominant Dutchman. Steve McGowan also did well, taking third. Both have good lane draws for the final, which is set for 1.10 Irish time on Saturday.