Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy win gold at European Rowing final

The world champions were hugely impressive in taking victory ahead of Germany and Italy.
Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy win gold at European Rowing final

11 April 2021; Fintan McCarthy, left, and Paul O'Donovan of Ireland celebrate with their gold medals after the Lightweight Men's Double Sculls A Final at European Rowing Championships Photo by Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile

Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy have won gold in the A final of the lightweight men's double at the European Rowing Championships in Varese, Italy

The world champions were hugely impressive in taking victory ahead of Germany and Italy.

The Irish came home in 6:18.14 with Germany in 6:19.94 and Italy in 6:21.05.

The pair were hugely impressive over the past the days of competition winning their heat & semi-final.

"It was a decent race, it’s good to be back," said O'Donovan. "I was off last season so Fintan raced in the single last year. Fintan is just dragging me along in the double. We need bigger biceps. We’re gonna work on some curls which will see us through to the end of the summer.”

Earlier Irish Women's four crew won a silver medal. The crew of Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Fiona Murtagh missed out on taking gold by a fraction of a second from the fast finishing Dutch four.

The winners came home in 6:27.51, pipping the Irish four in 6:27.96. Great Britain was third in 6:31.27

Aifric Keogh said: “The medal this year means a lot to us because were so close to Olympic qualification. A lot of crews from Ireland are already qualified, and for us to be able to finish that close to the Dutch is a really huge confidence boost.”

Shortly afterwards, the Lightweight Women's double of Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen have finished 5th in their A final.

Italy claimed the gold medal in 6:58.66 with the Irish crew - both UCC Rowing club members - finishing in 7:07.42 with Russia in sixth.

Earlier, Gary O'Donovan finished fourth in the Lightweight Men's Single A final.

The Skibb star produced a late surge but it wasn’t enough to snatch a place on the podium.

The race was won by Peter Galambos of Hungary in 7:01.52 with O’Donovan coming home 4.30 seconds behind him.

Leap native Lydia Heaphy finished 6th in the Lightweight Women's Single Scull A final.

Alena Furman (Belarus) won in 7:41.81 with Heaphy recording a time of 7:58.70.

Monika Dukarska (Killorglin RC) and Aileen Crowley (Old Collegians BC) finished sixth in the women's pair final.

The duo were up in the top half of the field before Great Britain's Helen Glover and Polly Swann pulled clear to win in 7:02.73. The Irish pair came home in 7:11.83.

Earlier this morning, Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne won the Double Sculls B final while Daire Lynch was second in the Single Scull C final.

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