Paul O’Donovan and Vintan McCarthy have done it again. Skibbereen’s husband completed his dominance of men’s lightweight double rowboats with an Irish gold medal at the European Championships in Varese, Italy.
This is O’Donovan’s second gold medal at European level for four world gold championships and an Olympic silver medal from Rio, making him one of the world-class athletes the most decorated in the history of Irish sport.
McCarthy adds his European gold medal at the world championships he won in 2019 with O’Donovan in a boat that has Olympic hopes for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
They were joined on the last day of the race by four wives of Emily Hegarty, Emer Lambie, Evrique Kew and Fiona Mortag, who came from a patient and started working hard in the race and won the silver medal. . Only a web separated them from the Dutch winners, with two Irish boats and six Irish athletes awarding medals at the European Championships.
“It was quite a race,” said the long-haired and bearded O’Donovan, giving little to no humor after the anthem. “I was away last season, so Fintan was single last year. Fintan makes me pass. We need bigger biceps. We will be working on a number of braids that will continue until the end of summer. “
Ireland took off quietly in the men’s 2,000-meter race behind the German speed-limiting boat, and Odunovan and McCarthy found themselves in third place early on. But in the 1000 meters, they settled comfortably in second place, less than a second behind the Germans who were still in the lead.
Without fanfare, the duo maintained their rhythm and made their way to first place over 1,500 meters, almost a second ahead of this point. But far from slowing down, the boat increased its speed over the last 300 meters to easily clinch the gold in 6: 18.14, more than a second faster than the Germans, second.
The women’s quartet Hegarty, Lambi, Keio and Mortag did everything in their power except push the Dutch boat to second place in the final with a controlled comeback in the final quarter of the tournament.
The Irish boat took third place in the first 500 meters in a new Olympic event. In the third quarter, however, Ireland started to take their strides, placing Great Britain in first place in the 1,500 meters and crawling on the main boat of the Netherlands.
Ireland had enough energy and poise over the last few hundred yards to push the Dutch all the way, easily taking second place and a silver medal, with the winning boat holding them back with a piece of cloth. .
First and second were two fractions of second separately, with the winning Dutchman coming home with 6: 27.51 and Ireland behind at 6: 27.96.
“This year’s medal means a lot to us as we are on the verge of qualifying for the Olympics,” Keough said afterwards. “Many Irish crews have already qualified, and being able to finish so close to the Dutch is a huge boost in confidence.”
Paul O’Donovan’s brother Gary had hoped for the medal but finished fourth in the men’s light rowboat final. Skibbereen rowing was late for most of the race, and although he came with a late attack, he was unable to recover Pole Artur Mikulajczewski from third place. Hungary won the race with a time of 7: 01.52 and Odonovan retired by more than four seconds with 7: 05.82.
“I would have liked to be in the medals,” said O’Donovan. “It was fun to win. I was right in every race. It was not my best race ever. But it was a step in the right direction compared to my previous international singles race. I am now much closer to the great players than I was. before. “
In the women’s light rowboat final, UCC Rowing Club Lydia Heavy finished sixth with a time of 7: 58.70, while husband Ronan Byrne and Phil Doyle won the final in the double row, with Dyer Lynch in second. Men’s line final C.
M1x: Dyer Lynch – Final C – Finalist
M2x: Phil Doyle and Ronan Byrne – Final B – 1st place
LW1: Lydia Heavy – Final – 6th place
LM1x: Gary O’Donovan – Final – Fourth Place
W2: Monica Dukarska and Eileen Crowley – Final – 6th place
W4: Emily Hegarty, Emer Lambie, Avery Kew and Fiona Mertag – Final – Finalist – Silver medalists
LW2x: Aoife Casey & Margaret Cremen – Final – 5th
LM2x: Paul O’Donovan and Vintan McCarthy – Final – 1st place – Gold medalists