Rowing Ireland unveil their Olympic hand

"We're a small country, but we've proven we can perform and achieve alongside the world's best. As a team, we are not just satisfied to go to the Olympics to make up numbers, but we are going with the ambitions to be as competitive as possible.”
Rowing Ireland unveil their Olympic hand

Team Ireland rowers Fintan McCarthy, left, and Paul O'Donovan at the official announcement of the squad who will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The rowing team was the first group of Team Ireland athletes to collect their kit bags ahead of the Games. Pictured. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Rowing Ireland have confirmed their largest selection in Olympic history for next month's Games in Tokyo

Thirteen rowers will compete across six boats at the Sea Forest Waterway with competition running from July 23 to July 30.

Four reserves are also chosen, including Gary O'Donovan who was a silver medalist alongside his brother Paul in Rio five years ago.  

Paul, who is now paired with Fintan McCarthy in the lightweight double scull, said: “The Olympic Games are a really special competition, and as a rower, it is often what you are driving towards.  Each Olympic Games is unique in its own way, with Tokyo being no exception, and as a squad we are going into them with high ambitions. We have worked hard since we set our Olympic goal, and it is nice to be officially selected ahead of the final weeks of preparation.”

Rowing is the first competition on the Irish schedule of events, and world champion Sanita Puspure will be the first Team Ireland athlete to compete in Tokyo 2020.

Rowing Ireland's Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni said: “This is a big moment for us, and we are going to the Olympic Games with the largest squad of Irish rowers in history and with a record number of 6 crews qualified. 

"I am very proud to be working with this group of athletes, coaches and administrators. 

"Each of them has put in a considerable amount of work these past few years in preparation for Tokyo. The athletes and coaches' dedication has shown how determined they are to represent Ireland at the highest level. We all must remember that the majority of this team, coaches included, is at the very first Olympic Games, which confirm the excellent job that coaches and athletes have done. We're a small country, but we've proven we can perform and achieve alongside the world's best. As a team, we are not just satisfied to go to the Olympics to make up numbers, but we are going with the ambitions to be as competitive as possible.”

TEAM IRELAND TOKYO ROWERS:  Lightweight Men’s Double Scull (LM2X): Fintan McCarthy (Cork), Paul O’Donovan (Cork), Reserve: Gary O’Donovan (Cork).

Women’s Single (W1X): Sanita Puspure (Cork).

Men’s Double Scull (M2X): Ronan Byrne (Cork), Philip Doyle (Belfast), Reserve: Daire Lynch (Clonmel).

Women’s Four (W4-): Emily Hegarty (Cork), Fiona Murtagh (Galway), Eimear Lambe (Dublin), Aifric Keogh (Galway), Reserve: Tara Hanlon (Cork).

Women’s Pair (W2-): Monika Dukarska (Kerry), Aileen Crowley (Kerry).

Lightweight Women’s Double Scull (LW2X): Aoife Casey (Cork), Margaret Cremen (Cork), Reserve: Lydia Heaphy (Cork).

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