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
- 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 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.