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Banbridge rower Philip Doyle helps Ireland land another Olympic place

Philip Doyle
Philip Doyle

Banbridge's Philip Doyle has helped Ireland qualify another boat for next year's Olympic Games.

The former Queen's student, along with partner Ronan Byrne, won their double sculls semi-final at the World Championship in Linz, Austria, securing the required top 11 place to secure a spot in Tokyo.

Doyle and Byrne gave an assured performance matching the New Zealand crew early on before taking the lead at around the half-way point. They then held off the late charging British and Romanian crews by just under a second.

Romania finished second with the fancied British crew taking third but all three will be in action in the final on Sunday. The Chinese crew won the other semi-final in a slightly faster time but the Irish will be hopeful of securing a medal.

Defending world champion Sanita Puspure comfortably won her semi-final at the world championships in Linz, Austria, to secure a place in Sunday's final and also earn automatic qualification for the 2020 Games.

Earlier the double crew of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne also won their semi-final at the championships which carried the additional prize of a place for the boat at next year's Olympics.

On Thursday the lightweight double sculls duo of Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy qualified their boat for the 2020 Games. In both cases, while the boats are assured to a spot in the Tokyo regatta, the actual composition of the crews can be changed.

At the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio, Paul O'Donovan along with his brother Gary, created Irish sporting history when they became the first oarsmen to medal at the Games claiming silver in the lightweight double sculls.

In Linz, Gary O'Donovan has finished fourth in the B final of the lightweight single scull to take tenth place overall.

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