O'Donovans stage late rally to claim silver at World Cup
Ireland had to settle for silver at the World Cup regatta in Poland yesterday as Gary and Paul O'Donovan were once again beaten to the line by the French Olympic champions.
After the first 500 metres France had taken a 0.5-second lead over the Chinese double of Sun Man and Fan Junjie, with Ireland sculling their own race and trailing back in sixth place.
By the halfway mark, the French had extended their lead over China to more than two seconds, while the O'Donovans had begun to work their way back through the field by overtaking Poland and Japan.
A massive push from Ireland in their third quarter saw them take out China and Germany but, with 500 metres to go, the French were unstoppable and they crossed the line almost three seconds clear, with Ireland staying ahead of Poland and China in a blanket finish for silver.
"It was a really good race. We tried to stick to the French but they were just too fast. We were pleased to beat the Polish again and are looking forward to Lucerne" said Gary O'Donovan afterwards.
The Swiss regatta is the final round of the World Cup before a long training camp to prepare for the World Championships in September.
Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll secured a third successive gold medal in the Saturday's lightweight men's pair.
In the three-boat final, the Skibbereen men rocketed off the start at 53 strokes a minute and eventually crossed the line 1.24 seconds ahead.