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Here's What You Need To Know Ahead Of A Huge Night For Irish Rowing

Here's What You Need To Know Ahead Of A Huge Night For Irish Rowing
By John Dodge
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In the early hours of Wednesday morning the first medals will be handed out and we hope Ireland will be among the recipients. It's the first of 3 big days for rowing with Ireland likely having medal chances on each day.

We have 4 boats in action on Wednesday and the results here may determine how good a regatta Irish rowing will have. We'll start with our finalists

Women's coxless four (W4-) - Final - 01:50

Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty have already created history as the first Irish women's heavyweight rowers to make an Olympic final. They're not there to make up the numbers though. In the heat they were 0.2s behind the favourites Australia. Their time is the second fastest time rowed in this event at the Olympics. At the Europeans earlier this year, they were 0.45s behind the Dutch squad. That same Dutch crew won their heat by 5 seconds over China. Everything points to this crew winning Ireland's first medal of the games and the first ever rowing medal for Irish women. They may even challenge for gold.  Let's keep our fingers crossed. The outside lanes are Poland and GB.

Men's lightweight double sculls (LM2x) - Semi - 03:30


Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy remain the gold medal favourites after the opening heats. They're in the second semi final and need to finish top 3 to qualify. In Rio, Gary and Paul O'Donovan didn't give a great performance and finished 3rd in the semi giving them an outside land for the final. I don't expect that to be repeated tonight. Either side of Ireland are Italy and Belgium who should progress to the final but are unlikely to trouble the lads from Skibbereen.

Women's lightweight double sculls (LW2x) - Semi - 03:40

Straight after the men's race, this will be a much tougher challenge for the Irish crew of Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey. They've done well to qualify for the semi finals and line up in lane 1 beside a Swiss crew who have finished ahead of them in the heats and the repechage. Beside the Swiss are heat winners France and Netherlands so as you can see, the young Irish double are not expected to make the final. They're by far the youngest crew in their semi though (both aged 22) so this experience should stand to them for Paris 2024.

Women's coxless pair (W2-) - Semi - 04:20

Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley have gone further than any other Irish pair and even qualifying for these games shows how far the whole of Irish rowing has cone since Sanita Puspure was our sole rowing representative in London 2012. They haven't been at their best in Tokyo and finished 4th in their heat and 3rd in their repechage to take the last spot available in the semis. The favourites to qualify will be Australia, Canada with Denmark and GB expected to fight for the last spot.

Men's double sculls (M2-) - B Final - 00:20

Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne have been very disappointed in their performance in Tokyo and based on their times so far, they're expected to finish 6th and last in the B final (for 12th overall in the Olympics).  They're class rowers who may yet give a great performance and if they click, they'll win this race but they haven't given much indication of doing so at these games.


Ireland sent 6 boats to Tokyo and they're all guaranteed to finish in the top 12. That's exceptional for a country our size. Tomorrow morning we'll hopefully get another crew into an Olympic final and at around 01:57 Irish time, we'll hopefully have our first medal of the games. Good luck to all our crews!

SEE ALSO: Paul O'Donovan And His Olympic Interviews Have Made Their Glorious Return

Team Ireland rowers Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan training at the Sea Forest Waterway ahead of the start of Tokyo 2020. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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