There was more success for former Portora Boat Club rower Ryan Ballantine on the World stage as he picked up his second World U23 bronze medal as part of the Ireland Lightweight 4x crew alongside Miles Taylor, Hugh Sutton and Eoin Gaffney in Sarasota, Florida.

Ballantine had won silver at the championships last year and although he was delighted to medal again, there is that part of him that wanted even more.

“To come away with a medal is pleasing, there is not many people who can say that they have a medal at that standard, nevermind two, so to have those achievements under my belt is something that will stick with me for the rest of life. But, when you get to that level and have been there and done it before you want that little bit more. Your expectations always change. Before you go you would be saying that whatever happens, happens but when you get there you want to medal and you don’t want bronze or silver, you want to win it,” he stated.

Ireland won their heat to see them progress straight to the final although Ryan knew that there was still plenty to improve on in between.

“We had a good race in the heat and we knew we could go faster in the final so we came off very happy but at the same time we weren’t content with that and we knew what we had to improve on before the final.” he said.

However, the Enniskillen man acknowledged that Italy were deserving winners on the day with France then pipping Ireland for silver.

“I thought we might have pushed to win it but on the day the better racers won. Italy just raced better and we just have to take that on the chin and go again. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed because as I say a bronze is a great achievement but I just maybe wanted that wee bit more.

“In hindsight though I’m very happy because I struggled with injury at the start of the season and didn’t have a lot of time with the crew so to come away with a bronze was great.”

There is little time for Ballantine though to enjoy his success as he flies out to Italy today (Thursday) for a pre Senior World Championship camp and he will be aiming to earn selection for the World Championships which take place at the end of August in Ottensheim, Austria.

“I basically came from college in England to Cork and trained for six weeks then went to America for the World U23s for a week. I’ve been home for a couple of days and then it’s then off to Italy for two weeks and hopefully then on to World Championships in Austria. It might be September when I’m back home but I don’t mind, it is something that I want to do,” he added.