Team Ireland's rowers have had a great day at the Olympic qualifying regatta in Lucerne, qualifying two boats for the Summer Games in Tokyo.
First up, the women's four of Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh won their qualifying final to qualify a fifth boat for Japan.
They dominated the final, beating China by almost 3 seconds.
Lambe told World Rowing that the emotion at the finishing line was relief.
"We’re absolutely relieved. It’s been a long time coming. Although on paper we were probably one of the favourites, anything can happen on the water. We are so happy."
The quartet have been in fine form, having won silver at the European Championships in Italy last month.
The success in Lucerne didn't end there.
The lightweight women's double of Margaret Cremin and Aoife Casey of UCC Rowing Club qualified a sixth boat for Tokyo by finishing third in their final behind the USA and Switzerland.
Casey told World Rowing that the hard work has paid off.
"It’s so surreal because I feel like we’ve worked so hard the past two to three years. We came in as underdogs. It just shows what you can do. We came from behind and all we wanted to do was do our best and we are so happy."
The four boats which had previously qualified for Tokyo were the Women’s Single Scull after Sanita Puspure finished first in the World Championships 2019, the Men’s Lightweight Double Scull after Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy finished first in the World Championships, the Men’s Double Scull, following Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne's second at the Worlds, and the Women’s Pair, once Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska finished seventh in the World Championships.
2021 Final Olympic Qualification Regatta
The Women's Four has qualified the boat for the Olympics!!!
The Women's Four Crew of Emily, Eimear, Aifric and Fiona has finished 1st in their Final and qualified the fifth Irish boat for Tokyo!#wearerowingireland pic.twitter.com/dh5rSXLabT
— Rowing Ireland (@RowingIreland) May 16, 2021