On the final day of action at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Slovenia, the LTA coxed mixed four - Ireland’s first ever adaptive crew to qualify for the Paralympics - finished fifth in the A final.
With Great Britain winning strongly, and Germany and Canada taking the silver and bronze respectively, the Irish crew of Anne-Marie McDaid, Sarah Caffrey, Shane Ryan and Kevin du Toit and cox Helen Arbuthnot fought it out with the crew from France for fourth place but, unfortunately had to settle for fifth.
Ireland’s other crew in Sunday’s finals, the lightweight men’s quadruple scull, had a titanic battle with the crew from Denmark for the bronze medal.
The Irish crew knew that they had to have some advantage going into the second 1000m of the race. The Danes are renowned for their fast finishing crews and earlier in the week, Ireland had beaten them with a one length lead at halfway.
Today, however, Ireland had only a half a length advantage at the same stage and, true to form, the Danes came on strongly to take the bronze in the final sprint.
Ireland had two boats attempting Olympic qualification at this regatta. Unfortunately neither was able to finish in the first eight, with the women’s double scull finishing twelfth, and the lightweight women’s double scull finishing seventeenth.
High Performance director, Martin McElroy said today, “There is still a chance for Ireland to qualify for the Olympics as two places are open for final qualification in these boat classes at next year’s final qualification regatta which takes place in Lucerne, Switzerland in May.
"If the competition was hot in Bled, the competition for these final places will be even more ferocious in 2012.”