Paul O’Donovan has booked his place in the men’s U23 lightweight sculls final after winning his semi-final at the World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam.
O’Donovan, who claimed silver in the Olympic double skulls with his brother Gary looks eager to another medal to his haul as he brushed his opposition aside to book a place in Saturday’s final. The Skibberreen rower got off to a slow start and found himself in last position as the last 500 metres was approaching, however he improved with 250 metres to go and found himself in 4th place.
He powered through the final 500 metres increasing his rate to 38 strokes per minute. He was up to second place with finish line approaching and he was hunting down Slovakian Rajko Hrvat who was in the lead. With the final stages approaching O’Donovan really turned the heat on his opponent at the front, he increased his strokes to 42 minutes a minute as he overtook the Slovakian to finish in a time of 6 minutes, 51.71 seconds. This time was an improvement on O’Donovan’s time he set in the quarter final as he retained his unbeaten record at the regatta.
The Croatian finished second, with a time of 6 minutes, 52.31 seconds, while German Konstantin Steinhubel claimed third place and the last qualifying spot for the final clocking a time of 6 minutes, 52.32 seconds.
The final will take place on Saturday and O’Donovan going on form should be in the shake up for another medal.