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European Championships Round-Up

Rowing

Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey: Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls – August 2nd-4th

Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey represented Ireland in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls. In their heat, they came up against crews from Italy, Austria, Norway, Switzerland and Poland. The newly formed double produced a fourth place result which saw them qualify for the repechage the next day.

With the top two progressing to the A final, the Skibbereen double came through in third place finishing behind Britain’s double of Eleanor Piggott and Francesca Rawlins in second and Switzerland’s double Patricia Merz and Ferderique Rol in first. As a result, Walsh and Casey qualified for the B final on Sunday.

In the B final, the duo battled their way up the course after a fast start in third place. Battling for second with the Austrian crew, the double showed guts and skill to edge them out at the 1000m mark. In the last 500m they applied serious pressure to the German crew who had been leading the race from the start. Walsh and Casey increased the intensity and stroke rate to haul the German’s back into touching distance. Unfortunately they ran out of water and finished in an admirable second in the final and 8th overall.

They will be a crew to watch for over the next few months. Denise Walsh is experienced at this level whilst Aoife Casey has only recently stepped up to senior level. Finishing 0.63 of a second behind the German crew in the B final, the future is bright for this young Skibb crew. The World Junior Rowing Championships started in the Czech Republic yesterday with a strong team from Ireland travelling to compete.

Swimming

Mona McSharry: 100m Breaststroke – August 3rd- 4th

Making her individual debut at the European Championships, Mona McSharry who is a World Junior Champion qualified for the semi-final of the 100m breaststroke clocking a time of 1:08.53. The 17-year old bettered her qualifying time in the semi’s with a time of 1:08.30. This wasn’t enough to qualify her for the final but she placed 14th overall – a strong result for the young athlete.

Niamh Kilgallen: 200m Individual Medley – August 7th

Niamh Kilgallen who was initially due to compete in the 400m Mixed Medley Relay before it was decided that a team would not be sent to the European Championships. Instead Kilgallen made her international debut in heat 4 of the 200m individual medley and touched home in 2:21.97.

Athletics

Phil Healy and Gina-Akpe Moses: 100m– August 6th-7th

Phil Heal got off to a super start at the European Athletics Championships as she automatically qualified for the 100m semi-finals after running 11.44. The following day in the semi-final Healy ran 11.46 which did not qualify her for the final as she came placed 7th. Despite this, Healy was happy with her performance and has the 200m to look forward to on Friday.

Gina Akpe-Moses whom won the 100m at Nationals, placed fourth in her heat with a time of 11.63. She missed out on the best qualifier spot for the semi-finals by 0.02 seconds. Despite this, Akpe-Moses was delighted with her run and the progress she has made this season. She is part of the 4x100m relay team which are competing on Sunday, the final day of the championships.

“I’m happy with my run and how I performed,” said Akpe-Moses after her first senior international championship. “I wasn’t happy with the time but I was good out of the blocks and ran well.”

Siofra Clerigh-Buttner and Claire Mooney: 800m– August 7th

Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner finished 6th in a top-class heat of the 800m. Running in a time of 2:02.80 Cleirig-Buttner finished strong and looked in good form. She was content with her performance and will look to use this as a stepping-stone for the future as she begins to compete with a more senior field. Her time was 2 seconds faster than when she last competed at the Euro’s in Amsterdam and just outside her seasons best of 2:02.63 which she ran at the Morton Games in July.

UCD’s Claire Mooney placed 8th in her 800m heat in 2:04.26. The athletes were apprehensive to take to the front of the group and Mooney was at the head of the pack for much of the race. Mooney had put herself in a great position and was second on the final bell. She was right in the mix until the final bend where she unusually ran out of steam. Mooney qualified just on time for the Europeans, competing in Belgium on the 21st of July and running a personal best of 2:01.61. An impressive achievement for the UCD athlete.

Cycling

Alice Sharpe, Orla Walsh, Mia Griffin and Hilary Hughes: Women’s Team Pursuit – August 2nd

The Women’s Team Pursuit were the first competitors for Cycling Ireland at the European Championships. Having only been introduced to cycling and track cycling over the past few years, this was seen as a development process for these budding stars.

Competing in heat one, the crew finished with a time of 4.57.325 which unfortunately wasn’t enough to see them progress to the next round. Great Britain took gold, Italy claimed silver whilst Germany won bronze.

Shannon McCurley: Scratch Race– August 3rd

Shannon McCurley competed in the Scratch race. This is an endurance race consisting of 40-laps. McCurley has made the switch back to endurance racing after representing Ireland at the Rio Olympics as a Keirin rider – a sprint event.

Showing great stamina and strength, McCurley was able to stick with the bunch and set up an exciting sprint finish. McCurley came home in 8th place. Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands took home gold.

After a long road out through injury and recovery, McCurley will be glad to be back competing at such a high level. McCurely won bronze in the Scratch race at the U23 European Championships in 2011.

Lydia Gurley: Women’s Points Race– August 4th

Lydia Gurley placed fifth in the Women’s Point Race finishing just behind World Champion Kirsten Wild, who came fourth. Gurley had been leading the race at one point, which took place at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Unfortunately, in an aggressively paced race she moved out of the podium positions and crossed the line in 5th. Italy’s Maria Confalonieri took home gold.

Alice Sharpe: Women’s Road Race– August 5th

Alice Sharpe finished the Women’s Road Race in 35th place. The 130km race took place over a technically challenging Glasgow City circuit. Sharpe was sitting in the fourth with 12km to go however when pace was lifted with just over one lap to go, the group began to split. Sharpre finished in front of the second group and took 35th place in the final standings. Italy’s Marta Bastianelli won gold.

Shannon McCurley: Women’s Elimination Race– August 5th

Shannon McCurley competed in the Women’s Elimination Race finishing 7th overall. McCurley can count herself unfortunate not to have registered a higher finish as a minor collision on the home straight cost her. The race was won by Great Britain’s Laura Kenny with Germany’s Anna Knauer taking silver and Evgenia Augustinas from Russia winning bronze.

Lydia Boylan: Women’s Omnium Race– August 6th

Lydia Boylan competed in the Women’s Omnium. This is a four-race even where the winner is the rider with the most points accumulated after these races. After top-class performances in both the Tempo Race and the final Points Race, Boylan finished 5th in a highly competitive field. World Champion Kirsten Wild took gold.

Lydia Gurley and Lydia Boylan: Women’s Madison Race– August 6th

The Women’s Madison of Lydia Gurley and Lydia Boylan placed 8th in the Women’s Madison race. The pair finished second in the sprint which saw them total enough points for them to place 8th. The pair won a silver medal at this event last year which has now been included on the Olympic programme.

Gymnastics

Meaghan Smith: Individual Artistic Gymnastics – August 2nd

Senior gymnast Meaghan Smith competed in the Individual Artistic Gymnastics. Smith recorded her best ever result on the vault where she scored 13.033

Emma Slevin, Jane Heffernan, Kate Molloy and Bathnaid Higgins: Team Artistic Gymnastics – August 2nd

Ireland’s junior team consisting of Emma Slevin, Jane Heffernan, Kate Molloy and Bathnaid Higgins competed in the Team Artistic Gymnastics.. The young team scored a total of 140.764 to place 15th. Next up for these Irish gymnast are the upcoming Youth Olympic Games and World Championships.

More updates and results coming to Her Sport soon! Be sure to tune in to watch the Irish athletes competing and see the impressive talents representing our nation.

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a media platform centred on bringing the latest Irish and international women’s sports news. Her Sport aims to empower women in sport, inspire more female participation, increase opportunity and level the playing field for future generations. Our objective is to create real and tangible change.

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