Saturday 10 December 2016

Rio hero O'Donovan closes in on World gold

Rowing

Michelle Carpenter

Published 27/08/2016 | 02:30

O’Donovan has been drawn in lane four and will be watching Lukas Babac from Slovakia in lane three this afternoon. Photo: MIke Egerton/PA Wire
O’Donovan has been drawn in lane four and will be watching Lukas Babac from Slovakia in lane three this afternoon. Photo: MIke Egerton/PA Wire

Ireland have a big day of rowing today at the World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, with Olympic silver medallist Paul O'Donovan in the men's lightweight sculls final.

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O'Donovan has been drawn in lane four and will be watching Lukas Babac from Slovakia in lane three this afternoon.

European champion Babac will provide a significant challenge for the Skibbereen man, having finished second in World Cup in Lucerne.

O'Donovan will also have to watch out for Slovenia's Rajko Hrvat in lane five, who was second in this event last year.

Hopes

But with fast times in both quarter and semi-finals and wins in all his races so far, hopes are again high for the Corkman to bring home another medal.

O'Donovan will race at 11.40 Irish time and will be supported by his brother Gary, who has stopped by Rotterdam on his return from Rio, as well as a large contingent from Skibbereen.

At 11.55 two of their clubmates will also be in action when Shane O'Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan take to the water in the men's lightweight pair.

This time the Irish have drawn lane two, but like their clubmate Paul, they will be watching their closest lanes, in the guise of the French and current World champions the British.

The future is looking bright for Irish rowing with the junior men's double and junior women's double racing in the semi-finals later on in the afternoon.

Years of Coupe success and trials is pay off this year with these youngsters reaching world standards.

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