Investment in sport pays off: Rowing to gold

Irish rowing has been quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, punching above its weight on the international stage for the last number of years.

Investment in sport pays off: Rowing to gold

Irish rowing has been quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, punching above its weight on the international stage for the last number of years.

That happy evolution continued at the World Championships at Plovdiv, Bulgaria over recent days.

Gary and Paul O’Donovan, Skibbereen’s finest — on the water at least — added to their Olympic silver when they took the gold medal in the men’s lightweight double sculls.

Emily Hegarty and Aifric Keogh made history as they qualified as an Ireland women’s pair for an A final at this level.

The men’s double of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne also won their repechage, lifting their new crew into the semi-finals.

Sanita Puspure gave us an icing-on-the-cake win when she won gold, her first medal of any type at a World Championships.

It was also an irrefutable stick-in-the-eye response to the bureaucrat who cut her funding from €40,000 to €20,000 last year.

Rowing may be a minority sport but it proves a universal theory: sporting success costs a lot more than sweat.

How wonderful it is when that investment pays off.

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