Irish rowing’s feelgood factor continues as five medals won at World Cup II

Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy won gold in the Lightweight men’s sculls
Irish rowing’s feelgood factor continues as five medals won at World Cup II

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan celebrate with their gold medals after victory in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls Final during day three of the 2021 World Rowing World Cup II in Lucerne, Switzerland. Photo by Roberto Bregani/Sportsfile

Irish rowing’s feelgood factor continues. A week after sealing another two Olympic spots, Irish stars won five medals at the World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne this weekend.

Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy won gold in the Lightweight men’s sculls while Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle (Men’s Double), Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley (Women’s Pair) along with Lydia Heaphy (Lightweight Women’s Sculls) all won silver. Sanita Puspure won bronze in the Women’s Single Sculls.

O’Donovan and McCarthy justified their pre race favouritism when winning gold in 6:15.48.

The pair saw off a strong early challenge from the Norwegian crew Kristoffer Brun and Are Weierholt Strandli to win by 14 metres.

Byrne and Doyle dug deep to take silver in their final (06:19.05) after an epic battle with their Chinese counterparts, Zhang Lin and Zhiyu Liu. The Chinese edged ahead by 0.14 seconds to take gold in a thrilling finale.

Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska produced a strong surge down the final 200 metres to claim second place in the women’s pair (07.22.17)

Sanita Puspure had to settle for third place in the women’s single sculls (07:30.02). The former world champion closed ground in the final hundred metres of the race but was passed by American rower Kara Kohler as they approached the line.

On Saturday, Lydia Heaphy placed second in the Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls A Final, with a time of 08:25.15.

Heaphy faced tough competition but held managed to edge ahead of Italian rower Federica Cesarini, securing second place from an impressive field which included rowers from Switzerland, Italy, China, and the Netherland

Rowing Ireland’s CEO, Michelle Carpenter said, “I want to congratulate all the athletes and team on their results this weekend. We are delighted to see five medals after all the dedication and hard work in training camp over the last months.

“Well done to our high-performance director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, the coaches, support staff, and the athletes’ clubs and families.

“The support the team has is a substantial factor in their continued success.

“Now that we know where we are, we are looking forward to focusing on the important road ahead.”

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