Gary and Paul O’Donovan are World Champions following victory in the men’s lightweight double sculls in Bulgaria on Saturday morning.
The Skibbereen pair managed to see off the challenge of both Italy and Belgium to romp to the gold medal on the final day of the World Rowing Championships.
The O’Donovans, who famously picked up silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016, took the lead with 500m of the 2km course to go and they finished comfortably ahead of the second placed Italian crew.
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) September 15, 2018
“We were out on the town with (the Norwegian team) last night and we said to them, ‘Big day tomorrow. We have to be on form’. We headed away early, around 2 o’clock. We met the Norwegians on the way in and they said that by 3am Kristoffer (Brun) was buckled and needed to be substituted, early this morning. He was still hungover.”
Despite the humour, the O’Donovan’s were also keen to hammer home the importance of the victory and how far the Irish team, as a whole, have come this year.
“It’s exciting for the whole team,” he added. “We have four boats here in the world championship finals… all the athletes around this Irish team, this year, have shown great independence and they’ve taken responsibility in themselves, and accountability for their own training and results.
“It’s evident that the team has belief and the athletes have belief, and this has been coming a long time.”