All eyes are Cork brothers Gary and Paul O’Donovan in the run-up to this afternoon’s lightweight double sculls final.
The brothers’ entertaining interviews have made them national stars, but don’t forget there are two other Irish rowers going for gold today - Sinead Lynch and Claire Lambe were the first Irish boat to make a final.
— Team Ireland (@TeamIreland) August 11, 2016
In the women’s equivalent, they too came in third in their semi-final, and they too enter the final after posting the third fastest qualification time, writes Ewan McKenna.
This after they chased down Denmark for the last qualification spot across the early stages, and once ahead of them they never looked like giving it up.
“We got into our rhythm early and once that happens we know we can row really well,” said Lynch.
“Olympic finalists, fantastic. It means all the sacrifices have been worthwhile, especially in the last year, being away from family and stuff. Like before that I was very nervous but Sam [Lynch her husband who came fourth at the Games 20 years ago] gave me a talk.
"He said we were good enough to get through. Once Sam tells me something, I believe that it’s possible but I just feel so happy for my parents and Sam’s parents who are looking after [my children] Clodagh, Molly and Hannah all this time and it feels like this is some sort of payback.
"I just saw my phone, 40 messages and I haven’t had a chance to look at any of them. It’s amazing.”
Her teammate Lambe was also paying tribute to the support network that has gotten them here.
“It’s so good, I’ve so many supporters here in the stands, it’s so cool that they all came out to Rio. We are getting so many messages from home, I hope getting through is some little thank you for all the help and support they’ve given us.”
The women's lightweight double sculls is due to take place at 2.32 this afternoon with the men's final getting underway at 2.44pm.