Ireland’s lightweight men’s double scull qualified for the A Final of the European Championships here in Bled. Fintan McCarthy and Hugh Moore did it by taking the third and final qualifying spot in a tense semi-final.
Switzerland have been the rising challengers to Ireland, and after early sparring Jan Schaeuble and Raphael Ahumada Ireland made their point by taking over and going on to win convincingly. Greece moved into second and held it, while Ireland had to battle hard to stay ahead of Germany. However, Moore and McCarthy waxed as the Germans waned, and Spain shot into fourth. Ireland took a clear third.
Moore and McCarthy are a new crew, and Paul O’Donovan’s shoes are big ones to fill for Moore. It will be interesting to see can McCarthy and Moore pull it together to win a medal on Saturday.
The lightweight double was the sixth Ireland boat to qualify tor A Finals (see earlier report).
Brian Colsh showed his battling qualities to qualify for the C Final after an exciting and very close C/D semi-final of the single sculls. Quintin Antognelli of Monaco clung on to a lead for most of the race, but each of the six boats looked like they could finish in the top three for much of the 2,000 metres. Antognelli won, with the young Irishman pushing into second, while Kjetil Borch of Norway (above with Colsh) annexed the crucial third place.
Colsh is 20; Borch, who is 33, is the silver medallist from the Tokyo Olympic Games.