Sanita Puspure has become a double world and European champion after defending her women's single sculls title at the European Rowing Championships in Poland on a day when Ireland also secured bronze medals in three other events.
Puspure was second after 500 metres as Magdalena Lobnig of Austria seized the early initiative, but the 38-year-old's class began to tell as the contest progressed.
Just leading at halfway, Puspure powered away over the final 1000 metres, clocking a winning time of seven minutes 36.040 seconds, as Lobnig finished more than 2.4 seconds further back in second, with Anneta Kyridou third.
"It was very fast," the Cork-based winner told World Rowing.
"I just kept my head down and focused on my race. I executed it the best I could, but those girls are fast."
Here's how Sanita Puspure triumphed at the European Rowing Championships in Poland. pic.twitter.com/EPM33RxbM7— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) October 11, 2020
Fintan McCarthy was the first Irish rower to claim a bronze on Sunday morning, finishing third in the men's lightweight sculls.
McCarthy made a bold bid from the front in Poznan, leading at the 500m, 1000m and 1500m markers as he tore his green blades through the water on Lake Malta regatta course in the centre of the city.
However, those earlier exploits began to tell in the final 500 metres, with Norway's Kristoffer Brun - who was only fifth after the opening quarter of the race - making inexorable progress to pass both McCarthy and Italy's Niels Torre to power to victory in 6:58.750.
Torre clocked 6:59.110 in second, while McCarthy crossed the line in 7:02.150.
Ronan Byrne and Daire Lynch also secured a bronze for Ireland in the men's double sculls.
Byrne and Lynch were fifth after the opening marker, but improved to third at the halfway point and maintained that position at the 1500m marker, clocking a final time of 6:21.280.
The Dutch duo of Stef Broenink and Melvin Twellaar triumphed in 06:18.690 after reeling in Switzerland, who finished runners-up.
Ronan Byrne and Daire Lynch win a bronze for Ireland at the European Rowing Championships in the men's double sculls. pic.twitter.com/ufUFUEl9OM— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) October 11, 2020
The young crew of Aileen Crowley, Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe and Fiona Murtagh were edged out for silver by Italy by a narrow margin in the women's fours.
Ymkje Clevering, Karolien Florijn, Ellen Hogerwerf and Veronique Meester of the Netherlands were authoritative winners in 6:35.490, but there was little to separate the Irish and Italian boats, with the Azzurri clocking 6:40.840 and Ireland recording a time of 6:41.210.
Ireland held second until just after the 1500m marker, where Italy assumed a slender advantage that they sustained to the line.
The young Irish crew of Aileen Crowley, Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe and Fiona Murtagh put up a huge performance to win bronze in the women's fours at the European Rowing Championships. pic.twitter.com/x9Te1AEicG— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) October 11, 2020
Tara Hanlon and Emily Hegarty finished fifth in the final of the women's pairs in 7:28.280, occupying that place at each marker, and trailing in more than 11 seconds behind winners Adriana Ailincai and Iuliana Buhus of Romania.
Spain secured silver ahead of Greece.
Meanwhile, in the minor finals used to decide the finishing order in events, Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen rowed to second in the women's lightweight double sculls B final.