Tuesday 18 June 2019

Reality check for World champions

Rowing

The demise of lightweight sweep rowing from the Olympic programme has forced O’Donovan and O’Driscoll to move up to the heavyweight category. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
The demise of lightweight sweep rowing from the Olympic programme has forced O’Donovan and O’Driscoll to move up to the heavyweight category. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Reality struck home once again yesterday for Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll at the European Championships in Glasgow.

Not even the lightweight world champions' storming finish could push them into a qualifying position for the 'A' final against the established favourites in the men's pairs.

The demise of lightweight sweep rowing from the Olympic programme has forced O'Donovan and O'Driscoll to move up to the heavyweight category - where they are generally up against athletes at least 10kg heavier.

O'Donovan and O'Driscoll made their final push inside the last 500m, but it wasn't enough as they finished behind France, Belarus and Italy.

In the lightweight women's double sculls Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey finished in third, five seconds behind winners Switzerland.

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