World University Rowing Championships 2010, Szeged, Hungary (August 13-15).
This year seven Queen’s men teamed up with two UCD men to form the Irish entry in the 2010 World University Rowing Championships in Szeged, Hungary. The crew was coached by Queen’s head coach Mark Fangen-Hall.
On day one, the crew got off to a slow start, finishing third in their heat behind Great Britain and France, who both qualified for the ‘A’ final. The crew now had to lay down a solid row in the repêchage if they were to advance to the ‘A’ final. After the first day they were fifth fastest on paper, so the ‘A’ final was not beyond reach yet.
Saturday, the day of the repêchage, the Ireland crew powered off the blocks and dominated the first 1500m, cementing their place in the ‘A’ final, ahead of Switzerland (who also qualified), Italy, Hungary and China.
On Sunday, the day of the final and the closing race of the championships, the Ireland crew drew lane one. From lane one Ireland, France, Estonia, Great Britain, Poland and Switzerland all went under starter’s orders. The Irish crew, revitalised from Saturday’s repêchage, approached the final with a do or die mentality, as they knew they were up against extremely tough opposition. The crews attacked the start, with Great Britain taking an early lead by 500m, with Estonia, Ireland and Poland hot on their tail. Through 1000m, Great Britain had increased their lead to a length over Estonia, who had three quarters of a length on Ireland who were inching out Poland. In the crucial third 500, Ireland hammered down the legs, pushing off Poland. By 1500m the crew had broken Poland, moving a length on them in 500m. By now, Great Britain had maintained their lengths lead over Estonia, who had clear water on the Irish crew who sat in third.
The Irish crew had a fantastic closing 500m, which earned them bronze medal in a time of 6:06.71. This was the first time in 30 years that an Irish eight has taken a podium place at a World event. This is a sign of the continuous improvement in Irish Rowing over the last few years, which has seen with it many other successes, particularly at University level. Hopefully these fine athletes can continue to row, develop further and raise the profile of Irish Rowing even more in the foreseeable future.
Congratulations to the nine strong crew!
(b) Dave Neale (UCD)
(2) Jonathan Mitchell (QUB)
(3) Eoin MacDomhnaill (QUB)
(4) Colin Williamson (QUB)
(5) Finbar Manning (UCD)
(6) Abdulrahman Mohamed (QUB)
(7) Marc Butler (QUB)
(s) James Graham (QUB)
(c) Andrew Tubman (QUB)
Queen’s men’s second eight are due to compete in the European University Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, Holland from 19th to the 22nd of August.