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Rowing Ireland is delighted with the launch of Sport Ireland’s High-Performance Strategy and the announcement of increased investment in High-Performance Sport in the coming years.

Speaking today, Rowing Ireland CEO Michelle Carpenter said “Rowing has been very successful internationally in the last number of years. We are exceptionally proud to have our largest number of boats qualified for this year’s Olympic games. The summer of 2021 will be another exciting year for our sport. We also have a strong pipeline in place with our U23 and junior squads for the Paris 2024 games in just three years time. We share a common interest with Sport Ireland in seeing the collaboration and use of the National Rowing Centre as a hub to National High-Performance sport as outlined in key action three of the Hig-Performance strategy. There is strong alignment with the strategy and that of our Rowing Ireland HP strategy. We very much welcome the document and look forward to working with our partners in Sport Ireland and other key stakeholders over the next number of significant years of Irish HP sport.

We are delighted with the commitment of Sport Ireland and the Department of Sport that will continue the momentum and success of the Olympics and beyond.

I want to thank Sport Ireland, Ministers Catherine Martin and Jack Chambers, Department of Tourism, Culture, Gaeltacht, Arts, Sport and Media as well as Sport Ireland and the OFI for their continued and appreciated support for sport and Irish Rowing.

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Rowing Ireland would like to congratulate the athletes selected for the Olympic Team representing Ireland in Tokyo this Summer. We are proud of our athletes, who are brilliant role models in the sport and have continued to go above and beyond in their athletic careers.

All of the athletes and coaches selected today have come on a journey, following a pathway supported by our rowing family and our Rowing Ireland clubs. We want to congratulate everyone who has supported and helped to develop the athletes throughout that journey.

Every Rowing Ireland club has played a part in today’s exciting announcement. Many of our clubs have athletes on the pathway at U23 or Junior pathway level. Clubs have organised regattas that our coaches and athletes have competed at throughout their journey or have facilitated athlete development through many other areas of support. Together, as we finally head into regatta season, we celebrate this.

From the moment that each rower picked up their first oar to winning medals at senior international regattas, their clubs, coaches, and families have acted as the foundations for their success. Without this support, the athletes and the sport itself would not have reached the levels seen today.

Congratulations must also go to our team of dedicated and passionate High-Performance coaches and support staff. They prepare, fine-tune, select, and support our athletes to perform at the peak of their athletic abilities, just at the right time to succeed at the highest level.

Six boats, comprising thirteen athletes, together with four key substitute athletes, will represent Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. This is the largest Irish rowing team to ever compete at the Olympic Games.

Rowing Ireland CEO Michelle Carpenter said: “Today is a proud day for Rowing Ireland, to see so many of our rowers competing in the largest sporting event in the world, and to see them represent us in the sport we all love. I want to thank everyone at Rowing Ireland and the friends, family and supporters of Rowing Ireland and our clubs.

This journey has always been a team effort, and today is a day to acknowledge this. From the members of our Board to the people who make coffee in the clubhouses around the country, today is a day to celebrate our athletes, coaches, administrators, and every single person involved in making this possible.”

Official Selection for Tokyo

Lightweight Men’s Double Scull (LM2x)

  • Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Paul O’Donovan (UCC Rowing Club/Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club) – Reserve

Women’s Single (W1x)

  • Sanita Pušpure (Old Collegians Boat Club)

Men’s Double Scull (M2x)

  • Ronan Byrne (UCC Rowing Club/Shandon Boat Club)
  • Philip Doyle (Belfast Boat Club/Queen’s University Belfast Boat Club)
  • Daire Lynch (Clonmel Rowing Club) – Reserve

Women’s Four (W4-)

  • Emily Hegarty (UCC Rowing Club/Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Fiona Murtagh (National University of Ireland Boat Club/Galway Rowing Club)
  • Eimear Lambe (Old Collegians Boat Club/Commercial Rowing Club)
  • Aifric Keogh (UCC Rowing Club/Colaiste Iognaid Rowing Club)
  • Tara Hanlon (UCC Rowing Club/Cork Boat Club) – Reserve

Women’s Pair (W2-)

  • Monika Dukarska (Killorglin Rowing Club)
  • Aileen Crowley (Old Collegians Boat Club/Killorglin Rowing Club)

Lightweight Women’s Double Scull (LW2x)

  • Aoife Casey (UCC Rowing Club/Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Margaret Cremen (UCC Rowing Club/Lee Rowing Club)
  • Lydia Heaphy (UCC Rowing Club/Skibbereen Rowing Club) – Reserve

Staff Team

  • Antonio Maurogiovanni – High-Performance Director
  • Fran Keane (Athlone Boat Club/Pres Rowing Club) – Coach
  • Dominic Casey (Skibbereen Rowing Club) – Coach
  • Giuseppe DeVita (UCD Boat Club)- Coach
  • Ciro Prisco (NUIG Boat Club)- Coach
  • Sinead Murphy – Physiotherapist
  • Feargal O’Callaghan (Shannon Rowing Club)- Team Manager

Team Ireland has officially selected thirteen rowers to compete across six boats at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. The strength and depth in Irish rowing has been to the fore over the past number of years, with the Irish squad travelling to Tokyo as some of the most successful rowers on the circuit, containing multiple World and European Champions and medallists. The Olympic Rowing Regatta takes place in the Sea Forest Waterway and runs from the 23 July until the 30 July 2021.

Qualification for the Olympic Games gave Irish athletes two opportunities to claim and Olympic spot. At the World Championships in 2019 Ireland qualified four boats: the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull, Women’s Single Scull, Men’s Double Scull and the Women’s Pair, coming home with two golds and a silver medal on the way to securing their places. At the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne last month the Women’s Four and the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull stormed home to book their ticket.

Olympic Silver Medallist Paul O’Donovan will be competing in his second Olympic Games, this time partnering fellow Skibbereen rower, Fintan McCarthy. Speaking on his official selection the triple World Champion 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. Fintan and I are ready to push on and excited about doing some racing, and we can see that our teammates are equally driven and striving for excellence.

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle, said,

It is great to welcome such a large and high calibre group of Rowers to Team Ireland.  We didn’t imagine that we would qualify so many crews and to have genuine medal prospects within the team is even more exciting.  This is a day to celebrate what hard work, determination and high ambition can achieve.  It is also a time to acknowledge all of the people behind the scenes, key performance support staff who every day are working with the athletes and coaches to make them better.”  

One of the key driving forces behind the success of the Team Ireland rowers is Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni,

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.”

Rowing is the first competition on the Irish schedule of events, and World Champion Sanita Puspure the first Team Ireland athlete to compete in Tokyo 2020.

Official Selection for Tokyo

Lightweight Men’s Double Scull (LM2x)

  • Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen Rowing Club)
  • Paul O’Donovan (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Gary O’Donovan (Skibbereen Rowing Club) – Reserve

Women’s Single (W1x)

  • Sanita Pušpure (Old Collegians Boat Club)

Men’s Double Scull (M2x)

  • Ronan Byrne (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Philip Doyle (Belfast Boat Club)
  • Daire Lynch (Clonmel Rowing Club) – Reserve

Women’s Four (W4-)

  • Emily Hegarty (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Fiona Murtagh (National University of Ireland Boat Club)
  • Eimear Lambe (Old Collegians Boat Club)
  • Aifric Keogh (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Tara Hanlon (UCC Rowing Club) – Reserve

Women’s Pair (W2-)

  • Monika Dukarska (Killorglin Rowing Club)
  • Aileen Crowley (Old Collegians Boat Club)

Lightweight Women’s Double Scull (LW2x)

  • Aoife Casey (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Margaret Cremen (UCC Rowing Club)
  • Lydia Heaphy (UCC Rowing Club) – Reserve

Staff Team

  • Antonio Maurogiovanni – High-Performance Director
  • Fran Keane (Athlone Boat Club/Pres Rowing Club) – Coach
  • Dominic Casey (Skibbereen Rowing Club) – Coach
  • Giuseppe DeVita (UCD Boat Club)- Coach
  • Ciro Prisco (NUIG Boat Club)- Coach
  • Sinead Murphy – Physiotherapist
  • Feargal O’Callaghan (Shannon Rowing Club)- Team Manager

Additional Information

Team Ireland now consists of 28 officially selected athletes, with 83 athletes spots confirmed SEE HERE. The final team announcement is scheduled for the beginning of July.

The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

Rowing will take place from the 23rd – 30th July.

Rowing Ireland wishes to clarify the situation regarding media coverage. International athletes have not been available for media interviews since the Lucerne World Cup. These restrictions do not, in our view, amount to a ban.

Rowing Ireland is happy to clear up this miscommunication and we apologise if the wrong impression was given in an earlier statement. We would like to thank the press for their continued support.

We will try to facilitate media requests with the athletes depending on their ongoing preparations, training and upcoming travel. The next Rowing Ireland media day will take place in the coming weeks ahead of the Olympics competition, with an opportunity for the media to speak with selected athletes.

Details will be announced in due course. All further media queries should be directed to communications@rowingireland.ie

Please see the below reminder for clubs wishing to compete in Overseas Events.

2.41 Victories Outside Ireland The Secretary of any club wishing to compete outside Ireland must e-mail the Rowing Ireland Office seeking permission before entering the event. Failure to do so may result in a fine being imposed by the Disciplinary Officer. All regatta victories must be notified to the office within 14 days of the event. Should it subsequently be discovered that a win was not notified within this period, the Club may be subject to a fine by the Disciplinary Officer. In the event of a recurrence of non-compliance, the Club may be referred to the Disciplinary Committee. All overseas wins by clubs count as full status wins. All foreign and domestic victories while part of the Irish team, count towards change of status. The Chair of the Umpires Committee shall have discretion to designate certain overseas races with only two crews participating as private races which do not affect status.

The Link for Rowing Ireland Overseas Permission Form.

Rowing-Ireland-Overseas-Permission-Form.pdf (rowingireland.ie)