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World Champ Paul O’Donovan Goes It Alone on First Day of European Rowing Championships

25th April 2024
Paul O’Donovan pictured here at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July 2021
Paul O’Donovan — pictured here at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July 2021 — is rowing solo at the 2024 Europeans as his lightweight doubles partner Fintan McCarthy recovers from illness Credit: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

All eyes were on the reigning World Champion Paul O’Donovan on the first day of the 2024 European Rowing Championships in Szeged, Hungary (Thursday 25 April).

Paul is racing for the first time in the heavyweight single scull category while his lightweight doubles partner Fintan McCarthy recovers from illness.

In typical O’Donovan fashion, Paul stayed comfortably within the pack for the first half of the race and gradually built up speed coming towards the 2,000m mark.

Crossing the line in third place, Paul will race in the repechage tomorrow, where a place for two crews in the A/B semi-final is up for grabs.

Margaret Cremen of UCC RC finished second in the Lightweight Women’s Single preliminary race. This is Margaret’s first appearance in the single scull at a World Rowing event. She is usually spotted racing the Lightweight Women’s Double with partner Aoife Casey but due to illness, the pair could not race together this weekend.

Racing for lanes, Cremen had a strong start, leading the pack for the first 1,000m. However, a push from the Individual Neutral Athletes sculler through the middle saw Margaret finishing in second place. As a preliminary race, there are various strategies from the individual teams, so Sunday’s final is expected to be interesting.

Jake McCarthy stole the show on Thursday morning, clinching first place in his heat of the Lightweight Men’s Single. The Skibbereen native left it to the final sprint to not only move into the top two direct qualifying spots but also into the leading position. Sunday’s final is definitely one to tune into.

The Women’s Double of Alison Bergin of Fermoy RC and Zoe Hyde of Tralee RC were the first to hit the water in the first of the heats. The pair made a strong push through the 1,000m, passing the Swiss pair to claim a second-place finish in their heat. They move onto the repechage on Friday (26 April), where the top four crews will progress to the A final.

Follow the live race tracker with live audio commentary for every race on the World Rowing website, which will also have live video streaming on Saturday from noon onwards and on Sunday from 9am for all A Finals.

Day 1 Results
Lightweight Men’s Single Heat 1st -> A Final
Lightweight Women’s Single Prelim 2nd -> A Final
Women’s Double Heat 2nd -> Repechage
Men’s Single Heat 3rd -> Repechage

Friday Schedule (IST)
10:03am - Women’s Double Repechage
10:40am - Men’s Single Repechage

Published in Rowing Team

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