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Irish Rowers Take Four World Cup II Medals; One Gold, One Silver and Two Bronze

26th May 2024
Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy took bronze in the World Cup II Lightweight Men's Double
Paul O'Donovan (right) and Fintan McCarthy took bronze in the World Cup II Lightweight Men's Double

Irish rowers rounded out World Cup II with four medals: one gold, one silver, and two bronze. After a long week in Lucerne between the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta and World Cup II, it's finally time for the high-performance team to return to Ireland for the last lead-up to the Olympic Games.

It's bronze for Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh in the A Final of the Women's Pair. Ireland and the Netherlands were the quickest boats off the start line, but with a bit of a wobble in the second quarter, they passed through the halfway mark in fourth position. Finding their rhythm over the next block saw them push ahead of the Greek crew into podium positions. At the World Championships last September, this duo finished in fourth place, just outside of the medals and have started into this season on a good foot, picking up bronze medals in both World Cup I and now World Cup II. This is a crew to keep your eye on this summer.

 Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh won bronze in the A Final of the Women's Pair at the World Cup II  Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh won bronze in the A Final of the Women's Pair at the World Cup II 

Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy also take bronze in the Lightweight Men's Double. Gabriel Soares and Stefano Oppo of Italy shot off the start, gaining a two second lead over the rest of the field in the first quarter of the race. O'Donovan and McCarthy held second place for the race's first half, but there was absolutely nothing between themselves and the Swiss double from the get-go. Throughout the entire race, not more than .3 of a second separated them, and coming to the line, the Swiss double came out on top by .18 of a second.

Alison Bergin (Fermoy RC) and Zoe Hyde (Tralee RC) just missed out on the podium, finishing in fourth place in the Women's Double. It was USA, Australia and Norway who took home the silverware after a tight race in the A Final this afternoon. Through the 1500-meter marker, there were just three seconds between first place and sixth place, with every crew winding it up for the closing stretch to try and get into the top three positions. Doing their fastest quarter in the final stage of the race, Hyde and Bergin did enough to move themselves ahead of the Chinese into fourth place, but it wasn't enough for them to bump up into the podium positions.

It's fifth place in the Lightweight Women's Double for Margaret Cremen and Aoife Casey. This was the opening event for this crew this season, having last raced together at the World Championships. Off the start, the crew from Cork found themselves in fifth position and sat there until the finish. GB, New Zealand, and the USA got ahead in the initial stages of the race and finished in that order to win the gold, silver, and bronze medals.

John Kearney (UCC RC) and Ross Corrigan (Portora BC) finish 6th in the A Final of the Men's Pair. GB, the race winners and 2023 World silver medalists, took the lead from the start with the reigning World Champions from Switzerland close behind. In a final push towards the line the Spanish crew put themselves between the two crews to claim the silver medal. This is the first time that this combination has raced together, and with more time in the boat and some magic from coach Nicolo Maurogiovanni, there's certainly more to come from the Irish pair.

University of Galway's Brian Colsh and UCC's Andrew Sheehan finished out their first World Cup by winning the B Final of the Men's Double. Up against Leudar Suarez Sanjul and Roberto Carlos Paz Sanchez of Cuba, the two-boat race was neck and neck for the first 500m, with just half a second between the two crews. It was during the middle section of the race that Colsh and Sheehan found their stride and pulled out ahead of the Cubans. The two U23 athletes will have their eyes set on the World Championships in Canada in August.

World Cup II Results (Irish interest)

  • Lightweight Women's Single A Final -> GOLD
  • PR2 Men's Single (O'Donnell) Final -> SILVER
  • Women's Pair A Final -> BRONZE
  • Lightweight Men's Double A Final -> BRONZE
  • Women's Double A Final -> 4th
  • PR2 Men's Single (McGowan) Final -> 4th
  • Lightweight Women's Double A Final -> 5th
  • Men's Pair A Final -> 6th
  • Men's Double B Final -> 1st
Published in Rowing Team

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