Paul O’Donovan has upheld his streak of success, winning gold in his return to the international rowing scene. Paul was the only Irish athlete competing this weekend at World Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland and was accompanied by Dominic Casey, the High Performance Lightweight coach.
The Skibbereen rower, currently studying and racing for University College Cork, stormed his heat, winning it by 7 seconds. With this performance, he was going straight into the A/B Semi this morning with the fastest time. Lukasz Sawicki from Poland and Finn Wolter from Germany were both unable to race the Semi due to illness, which reduced the field to four boats.
As usual, Paul started steady, and slowly but surely came through each of the crews as they progressed through the 2k. In a tight race, only three crews could qualify for the A Final, and the Algerian sculler was just .75 of a second short of that qualifying position.
Paul finished off the event with his fastest race, coming across the finish line with a time of 6:47.15.
Rowing Ireland’s CEO, Michelle Carpenter, said: “Congratulations to Paul on his gold medal today. We were delighted to see the result, as thousands of young rowers competed in the sport for the first time today in the 1k Classic, at the National Rowing Centre, where our high performance athletes are based. It’s phenomenal to see the stars of the future, competing and enjoying our sport today.”
Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, said: “We are delighted with Paul’s performance, and to see him coming away from World Cup III with the gold medal. After good racing here, and in Poznan, we look forward to Europeans and the World Championships in the coming months. Huge time and effort is put into these events, so thank you to all athletes, coaches and support staff for contributing to our continued success.”