2x OLYMPIAN, DOUBLE EUROPEAN & WORLD CHAMPION
Sanita Puspure is a Latvian-born Irish professional rower. She is the reigning double European and World champion in the women’s single scull winning her world title at the 2018 World Rowing Championships and successfully defending it at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. She become European champion at the 2019 European Rowing Championships and successfully defending it at the 2020 European Rowing Championships.
She initially competed for Latvia at a junior level, but she moved to Ireland in 2006 and began competing for her adopted country in 2010, before gaining full Irish nationality in 2011. She was selected as the sole rowing competitor for Ireland at the 2012 Summer Olympics. In May 2016, she qualified for the Women’s single sculls at the 2016 Summer Olympics.Pušpure began competing for Ireland in World Cup events during 2010, but was only allowed to compete at the World Championships after she gained Irish nationality in 2011. She was in the winning teams in the double and quad sculls at the Henley Women’s Regatta in 2011. She initially aimed to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in the double scull, partnered with Lisa Dilleen. The duo finished in twelfth place at the 2011 World Championships, where the top eight teams qualified for the Olympics.
She competed in the single scull event for the first time at a World Cup event in Belgrade in May 2012, finishing in fifth place. At the Olympic qualification event in Lucerne, Switzerland, she placed second in her heat in order to make it through to the semi-final. After finishing third in the semi, she placed fourth in the final, giving Ireland a place in the women’s single sculls competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics. She was selected for the Irish team at the Games as the country’s only rowing competitor, and their first female single sculler since the 1980 Summer Olympics. She reached the quarter-finals of the event.
In September 2018 she won the single sculls at the world championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, her first world title.