Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy won gold in the Lightweight Men’s Sculls, to cap a successful weekend for Team Ireland at the World Cup II in Lucerne.
The pair claimed the lead in the first 900 metres, battling with the Norwegian crew Kristoffer Brun and Are Weierholt Strandli for pole position. They eventually edged home with a 14-metre lead in a time of 06:15.48, meaning that eight of the nine Irish crews competing this weekend made it to A finals - with five medals won in total.
Ronan Byrne and Philip Doyle won silver in the Men’s Double, Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley won silver in the Women’s Pair, Lydia Heaphy won silver in the Lightweight Women’s Sculls, and Sanita Puspure won bronze in the Women’s Single Sculls.
Jack Dorney, Alex Byrne, John Kearney and Ross Corrigan competed in the Men’s Four B Final, finishing third with a time of 06:16.20. The Irish boat sustained efforts throughout the race, competing against two Swiss crews and one Dutch crew. This result leaves the crew with a standing of ninth overall for this weekend.
Crowley and Dukarska’s efforts saw them take second place in the final 200 metres, earning their place on the podium in a time of 07.22.17 for silver. The crew of Tara Hanlon and Claire Feerick placed fifth in the same race with a time of 07:29.89.
Byrne and Doyle faced tight competition from their Chinese counterparts, Zhang Lin and Zhiyu Liu, racing neck and neck from the 1,000 metres mark right up to the finish line before coming home just 0.14 seconds behind the winners in a time of 06:19.05.
Puspure closed ground in the final 100 metres of her final but was passed by American rower Kara Kohler as they approached the line.
Daire Lynch competed in the Men’s Single Sculls A Final, placing sixth with a final time of 07:01.90, with Oliver Zeidler of Germany taking home the gold.
Rowing Ireland’s CEO, Michelle Carpenter said, "I want to congratulate all the athletes and team on their results this weekend. We are delighted to see five medals after all the dedication and hard work in training camp over the last months.
"Well done to our High-Performance Director, Antonio Maurogiovanni, the coaches, support staff, and the athletes’ clubs and families. The support the team has is a substantial factor in their continued success. Now that we know where we are, we are looking forward to focusing on the important road ahead."
Chair of Rowing Ireland’s High-Performance Committee, Neville Maxwell, said, "Overall we are very happy with the results of the Irish team over the weekend in Lucerne. To come away with so many crews in A finals and five medals is a considerable achievement.
"The group is now looking forward to having a quick rest and getting ready for the Tokyo Olympics, where further improvements will be made. We are delighted with the weekend, and Irish rowing is in a good place."