Congratulations to Sanita Puspure who has today been crowned World Champion after winning Gold in the women’s single sculls.

Following a week of highly impressive form, Puspure executed yet another dominant performance in the final in Plovdiv this morning, which saw her begin to edge ahead of the field from as early on as the 500 metre mark.

This was to be the position she held for close to the entirety of the race, putting more and more water between herself and reigning Champion Gmelin of Switzerland, with other medal contenders Lobnig of Austria, Kohler of the USA and Denmark’s Erichsen never so much as threatening the Irish sculler who looked in control throughout. In the finish, Puspure crossed the line with four lengths and almost six seconds to spare ahead of Gmelin who took silver, followed by Lobnig who claimed the bronze. USA, Denmark and Germany followed, in that order.

Puspure was understandably emotional accepting her Gold medal and joins the O’ Donovan brothers, Gary and Paul, in becoming World Champion for 2018. The O’ Donovans had won Gold the day previous in the lightweight men’s double sculls.

Earlier this morning, Ireland had two other boats racing in finals. Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska had a comfortable win in the C Final of the women’s double sculls, placing them 13th overall at the Championships. Like Puspure, the Irish crew lead throughout and took the win by a margin of 2.74 seconds ahead of China in second and Italy in third, followed by Switzerland, Ukraine and Romania.

Shortly after this, Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne took to the water in the B Final of the men’s double sculls, where a third-place finish positions them in 9th place overall at the end of the 2018 World Championships. Just .35 seconds separated the top two boats in this race, the Netherlands and Poland with the Irish double finishing just over three seconds behind in third ahead of Norway, Estonia and Bulgaria. A highly encouraging result for this developing crew.

Rowing Ireland CEO, Michelle Carpenter, was thrilled with the Irish results after the weekend:

It’s been an unprecedented weekend for Irish Rowing. To have won a gold medal yesterday in our first Olympic event was phenomenal, and to top it off today with Sanita’s resounding win was more than the icing on the cake.

We have all watched and supported Sanita over the years and we were empowered by her turn around and performance during this World Championships. It’s a proud day to be part of Irish Rowing – I hope every single club and organisation that are involved with us and are part of us will celebrate that success.

Our thanks go to our supporters, in particular Sport Ireland, Sport NI and GVA Donal O’Buachalla who have always stood by our sport.

As the 2018 World Rowing Championships conclude, Rowing Ireland athletes return home with two Gold medals and three further crews finishing within the top ten in their category, two of which also reached A Finals (top 6), as well as two C Final wins and invaluable racing experience as we look ahead to qualification for Tokyo 2020.

This report was originally published on