Skibb’s Dream Team Makes the Look Extraordinary Ordinary

PAUL O’Donovan’s quiet reaction after winning his FIFTH back-to-back world title does not dilute the magnificence of his latest achievement.

The Skibbereen phenom’s interview with RTÉ caused a lot of raised eyebrows as he downplayed his latest world title.

“It’s okay, yeah,” the Lisheen legend replied when asked if he had won five world titles in one fell swoop.

He stood in line for an awkward few seconds when he refused to expand on his own success – but he spoke on the water at the World Rowing Championships in the Czech Republic, alongside Fintan McCarthy.

Together, these two powerhouses, forged at the Skibbereen Rowing Club, are sensational. They are unbeatable. Olympic champions. Now double world champion. European champions back to back. They’re a different class, and they’ve proven, once again, why they’re the best lightweight men’s doubles in the world.

Paul and Fintan, as expected, qualified for the A final, although the Swiss pair battled in the semi-finals before suffering the same fate as all the other crews who tried to get the better of the Skibb duo. in their yellow jersey. Empacher boat.

The men of Aughadown, from the same parish outside Skibbereen, saved their best for the medal chase on Saturday afternoon.

In sixth place after the first 500m, by the time the race reached its 1000m midpoint, they had cut through the peloton to hit the front, sending a clear message to the other five crews. They have found their rhythm and are rowing a different pace to their rivals who have to scratch their heads to find a way to beat the wonders of West Cork.

The outcome was inevitable once the Skibbereen rowers decided to make a move. Paul and Fintan extended their lead in the third quarter, and the water was clear between them and the others as they crossed the line to claim gold in 6:16.46, nearly three seconds ahead of Italy in second (6:19.11) with Ukraine in third (6:19.53).

This Skibbereen dream team makes the extraordinary look ordinary.

The deadly duo are expected to win gold. And they deliver. Everytime. It is now 19 consecutive victories at the international level. This has seen them win Olympic, World (2) and European (2) titles, as well as World Cup II 2021 gold. year despite the short time spent together in the boat.

Before defending their European title in mid-August, they had participated together less than ten times in the Irish double since the Tokyo Games in July 2021. However, they won in clear water. Preparation for Worlds wasn’t ideal either, as Fintan was on a training camp in Spain while Paul continued his medical studies at UCC. The end result was the same as it always is with these two: gold and glory. That they can still beat every other crew even if they don’t train together too often this year is worrying news for the chasing pack.

Paul O’Donovan, right, and Fintan McCarthy in action at the World Rowing Championships.

“We decided to come here without our usual preparation, so I’m really proud of how we approached it,” Fintan said. RTE Sports.

“Whatever the medal, the trust we had in each other to prepare as we have will be with us for the next few years and we have been this year as well.” I’m just very happy and proud.

“I think the confidence in our coach and our program as well, without that we wouldn’t have been so confident to come here without our usual time together.

“It’s been a really, really good year for us.”

As the curtain closes on the 2022 season, attention will soon shift to 2023 when Olympic qualification will be up for grabs before the Paris Games in 2024. For now, they are untouchable. And there’s more to come, as Paul and Fintan joked in a World Rowing interview after their latest gold medal.

They’ll focus on the “hamstrings and quadriceps,” smiles Paul, and they’ll try to “get the most out of the biceps.”

“If they (the opposition) aren’t scared now, they’ll be scared when they see our biceps coming.” They are going to be awesome, let me tell you. You’ll need a wide-angle lens on the camera next time you interview us, I assure you,” joked Paul, after making the conversation that really mattered about the 2000m course in Racice.

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