Galway rowers stake a claim with bronze in Europe

 Ireland rowers, from left, Galway's Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh with Eimear Lambe and Aileen Crowley celebrate with their medals after winning bronze in the Women's Four W4- A final at the 2020 European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland. Photo: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile

Ireland rowers, from left, Galway's Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh with Eimear Lambe and Aileen Crowley celebrate with their medals after winning bronze in the Women's Four W4- A final at the 2020 European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland. Photo: Jakub Piaseki/Sportsfile

Galway rowers took centre stage at the European rowing Championships in Poland at the weekend.

Former Jes rower Aifric Keogh, and Galway Rowing Club's Fiona Murtagh, along with Eimear Lambe and Aileen Crowley, won bronze medals in the women's four.

The crew, racing in the women’s four repecharge, comfortably finished first with a time of 6:26.96 to secure a place in the A final, which proved a tight race right up to the end. The Italian crew, who held the lead for most of the event, claimed the gold despite a huge effort from the Irish women, and in the last few metres, they were just pipped by the Swiss crew for the silver.

However, it was a huge fillip for the two women, who both rowed with NUI Galway, in their bid for Olympic qualification.

Keogh (27 ), from Furbo, set a new world record during lockdown when she claimed the fastest marathon distance in a virtual regatta in her age category 19-29. She secured the record when rowing on a Concept2 ergometer on the patio at her parents' home in Furbo.

Twenty-four-years-old Fiona Murtagh of NUIG, started her rowing career with Galway Rowing Club some 11 years ago. She went on to win the Head of Charles two years in a row and Irish Rowing Championship titles.

The two Galway women both have their hearts set on making the cut for the Olympics. Irish crews secured four medals at the Europeans, including gold for Sanita Puspure.

 

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