Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy have written their names in Irish Olympic folklore after securing victory in in the men’s lightweight sculls final for rowing.
The pair lived up to their favourites tag, after seeing off Germany to secure Ireland’s first every gold medal at this sport. Italy also finished third.
The Irish pair trailed by 1.4 seconds early on. However, they made an excellent recovery to overtake Italy into second place. They also reduced the lead to Germany to 0.62 of a second.
From that point onwards, O’Donovan and McCarthy took over.
They caught up with the Germans in lane four at the 1,500m mark. They overtook them and despite Germany momentarily regaining parity, Ireland pulled away to secure that gold medal.
Germany knew they were beaten by the final 300m and began to tire. O’Donovan and McCarthy crossed the finish line by more than half a boat length. They subsequently won by 0.86 of a second.
“Seem to work out okay for us” – O’Donovan
Giving his reaction to RTÉ Sport afterwards, Paul O’Donovan had this to say.
“The race plan we had, we do it all the time and it seems to work out okay for us”.
He continued, “We kind of knew that Italy and Germany always go hard, you can count on that. Then they slow down a bit. Once we were catching up to them, we knew that we were at a sustainable pace and kept going. Germany made it hard for us, that’s for sure”.
“We kind of knew that Italy and Germany always go hard, you can count on that. Then they slow down a bit. Once we were catching up to them, we knew that we were at a sustainable pace and kept going. Germany made it hard for us, that’s for sure”.
“You don’t really take in the history of the moment. You’d be well tired after the race”, he added.
Fintan McCarthy also understably thrilled to have helped secure gold for Ireland.
“It feels really good”, he said.
“It is bizarre, I have been pretty chilled out all day. Usually, I would be a bit more nervous. I felt really prepared and you know how that expectation and stuff doesn’t really weigh too heavily on us. We just do what we always do as best we can and it worked”.
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— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 29, 2021
This achiement comes after Siobhan Haughey secured a medal for Ireland at swimming. More on that report from Nova here.