Ireland won two gold medals on Friday at the World Rowing Championships in the USA. Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan became World Champions in the lightweight men’s pair, while Paul O’Donovan successfully defended his lightweight men’s single sculls title.
O’Driscoll and O’Donovan maintained their unbeaten record this season having already won three World Cup events and a European Championships. They kept an incredible stroke rate throughout the final with the pace proving too much for the opposing crews none of whom looked as though they would deny Ireland the gold medal.
The Cork duo’s blistering stroke rate never dropped below 43 strokes per minute and they finished excellently, with Italy taking silver and Brazil becoming the bronze medallists.
Speaking after the win, Mark O’Donovan said: “We started and were wrecked. It’s been a really long journey to get here so we are absolutely delighted to be able to take the win. Thanks to everyone that supported us. I think the season has really pushed us to do well today.”
Their fellow Skibbereen rower Paul O’Donovan successfully defended his title in the lightweight men’s single sculls. O’Donovan started strongly but it was at the 1,000 metre mark he made his move, producing a huge push to gain a substantial lead which had grown to a gap of three and a half seconds as he crossed the line, finishing just five seconds outside of a World Best time. New Zealand took the silver with the bronze going to Norway.
Results Friday 29th September 2017
Lightweight men’s pair ‘A’ Final: 1. Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:32.42, 2. Italy 6:34.20, 3. Brazil 6:35.30, 4. Great Britain 6:37.56, 5. Russia 6:45.52, 6. USA 6:59.01.
Lightweight men’s single sculls ‘A’ Final: 1. Ireland (P O’Donovan) 6:59.01, 2. New Zealand 6:52.16, 3. Norway 6:52.35, 4. Switzerland 6:56.37, 5. Germany 7:02.25, 6. Brazil 7:05.85.