#ROWING: Rowing Ireland has announced the crews which will compete at the Under-23 World Rowing Championships in Varese, Italy, from 23rd to 27th July.
Denise Walsh will compete in the lightweight single scull. Walsh, who is 22 years old, competed in the same event last year, finishing sixth. She has been competing more recently in a newly formed lightweight double scull with Claire Lambe. They finished in 5th position in the B final in their first outing two weeks ago at World Cup II in Aiguebelette. Denise Walsh rows for Skibbereen Rowing club and is in her final year of studying Economics and Geography at UCC.
Paul O’Donovan finished in third place in U23 lightweight men’s scull in Linz, Austria in 2013. He comes from a strong family of rowers, with his father, Teddy, involved in Skibbereen rowing Club. Paul rowed himself since the age of seven. In the recent World Cup II regatta in Aiguebelette Paul won the B final.
Paul’s brother Gary will compete in the men’s lightweight double, together with fellow Skibbereen man Shane O’Driscoll. Gary is passionate about the sport. “My father always had an interest in rowing and he would bring myself and Paul to a lot of rowing events before we started rowing, which we enjoyed a lot,” Gary recalled. “When I was 10 years old, he brought me and Paul rowing for the first time. Since then we have never stopped.”
Shane O’Driscoll, who was in Gary’s class in school, started rowing shortly afterwards and they have rowed together since.
The men’s four from Galway will be hoping for a good result. Many of the crew have rowed since they were at junior level. Richie Bennett and Rob O’Callaghan competed in the four at last year’s Under-23 World Championships, where they finished ninth. Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan recently lined out in the Boston College eight at the Eastern Sprint regatta. Tolan started rowing at St Joseph’s College and won three junior Championships with them.
Ireland Under-23 World Championship Team:
Four: Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan (Grainne Mhaol RC), Richard Bennett (NUIG BC), Robert O'Callaghan (NUIG BC), Kevin Neville (NUIG BC). Lightweight Double Scull: Gary O’Donovan (CIT RC), Shane O’Driscoll (Skibbereen RC). Lightweight Single Scull: Paul O’Donovan (UCD).
Lightweight Single Scull: Denise Walsh (Skibbereen RC).