The Irish women’s four team almost lost out on a gold medal today at the European Championships in Munich, but they held off Romania’s challenge to win silver and earn Ireland’s first medal of the competition.
At the Tokyo Olympics, Ireland won bronze in this division. Tara Hanlon and Natalie Long joined Eimear Lambe and Aifric Keogh in the boat for this race.
A silver medal was won by Ireland’s women’s four at the European Rowing Championships.
Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh, Tara Hanlon, and Natalie Long won the silver medal as the A-finals got under way on Saturday at the Olympic regatta venue, putting forth their customary aggressive and determined effort to open Ireland’s medal account at the 2022 multi-sport European Championships in Munich.
The British boat, the pre-race favourites who won gold at both of the World Cups they competed in earlier in the season in Belgrade and Poznan, narrowly edged out the Irish boat in the thrilling race.
The Irish women’s strategy was gutsy and bold, and the silver medal was unquestionably well deserved. At 500 metres, the British crew calmly followed behind, and by the halfway point of the race, they had pulled far ahead.
The British boat completed in 6:50.92, 2.07 seconds ahead of the Irish, and 2.91 seconds ahead of Romania. Sill Lambe, Keogh, Hanlon, and Long remained focused on their respective objective and finished with a clear lead.
Ireland were beaten by a superb British team
The gold medal was the aim this morning after Ireland won their heat, but they were defeated by a fantastic British team. Ireland had a slim lead at the 500-meter point but lost ground after that, finishing just over two seconds behind the British boat. With the Romanian boat pursuing them from the outside channel, the British performance prompted the Irish crew to shift their attention from pursuing gold to defending silver.
The Irish team of Eimear Lambe, Tara Hanlon, Aifric Keogh, Natalie Long admitted they did “suffer a bit” from their strong start but still happy to take silver at @ECMunich2022 @RowingIreland #munich2022 #rtesport pic.twitter.com/WGAKw4inbm— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 13, 2022
Ireland won the silver medal by 0.84 seconds after a powerful finish quenched their challenge and considerably narrowed the margin to Great Britain. Romania narrowly beat out Denmark for bronze, winning by 0.56 seconds. Poland came in sixth place, far behind.
You are always backing yourself no matter what, there was no point in the race where we thought, ‘Oh, it’s all over.’ We were strong in the second half and the girls know that when we say ‘Go’, we mean businessFiona Murtagh
We tried it today, went off harder than normal, probably suffered a little more, but we needed to test it, we know what we need to learn, and we’re hoping to move onto the worlds with this new approach.
Tara Hanlon continued, “We had suffered a little from the first half. “We are pleased with the performance,” they said, “still holding out for silver.”
Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty finishing fourth last year
The women’s pair of Emily Hegarty and Fiona Murtagh earlier missed out on a medal in their final, placing fourth in a race won by Romania. Both of them were on the boat that won Olympic bronze in the women’s four last year.
The Irish duo finished 10.72 seconds behind the gold medalists Romania, who were 1.79 seconds ahead of Great Britain in second place. The Irish pair had been in fourth place halfway through the race but was only two seconds behind the leaders Great Britain. Five seconds ahead of the Irish boat in third place was the Netherlands. Greece came in sixth, behind Croatia.
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