Puspure prepares for Olympic semi final
In her third Olympic Games, defending World Champion in the Women’s Singles Sanita Puspure won her quarter-final in yesterday’s race in Tokyo, and will now compete in the semi-final A/B on Tuesday.
The Cork woman’s quarter-final race included World Bronze Medallist Kara Kohler from the USA, who was the early leader in the 2,000m race. Following a steady start, Puspure found her speed and moved up the field, before taking the lead with 500m to go. She finished in a time of 7.58.3, over a second clear of Kohler, while China’s Yan Jiang finished third, in the final qualification position.
The Women’s Pair of Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley also progressed to the semi-finals in their event, taking the third qualification spot in the repechage, with a time of 7.31.99. The Killorglin duo were relieved to keep the momentum, and will now set their focus on competing for the three places on offer for the A Final on Tuesday.
Speaking after the race Dukarska was relieved to be through to the top 12, especially following the uncertain year.
“To be honest, it feels great. I suppose it was an uncertain time right up to getting here. Initially we had to defend our seats and make sure we were in the boat.
“We are progressing through each stage, and now the next focus is to get through the semi-final and get to the A Final. We are quite good at focusing on the process, so we are going to focus on that.”
The Lightweight Women’s Double of Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey also finished third in their repechage, in a time of 7.23.46, and will compete in the semi-finals A/B. The Cork crew qualified for Tokyo in the final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne in May, and have benefitted from the extra year of training.
There was disappointment for the Men’s Double of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne, whose sixth place finish in the semi-final in 6.49.06 was not enough to progress to the A Final. They will now compete in the B Final and will race for seventh place.
Today’s regatta cancelled due to an expected typhoon in Tokyo, with the racing set to continue on Day Four (Tuesday, July 27th), when the Lightweight Men’s Double, Lightweight Women’s Double and the Women’s Pair compete in their semi-finals, aiming for a top three finish in their respective races. Puspure will compete next on Day Five (Wednesday, July 28th) in the Women’s Single, while the same day will also see the Women’s Four in the A Final and the Men’s Double in the B Final.