Ten Cork Rowers will travel to Tokyo for the Olympics next month
Rowing Ireland has named its squad ahead of next month’s Olympics and is largely dominated by Cork.
Rio silver medalist Gary O’Donovan will travel to Tokyo from Leeside as one of five reserves in Ireland’s largest Olympic rowing team with ten members.
The move was expected given the recent success of Gary’s brother Paul, with whom he had worked in Rio, and Fintan McCarthy, who took the world title in lightweight double sculls.
Ireland will have multiple medal chances on the Sea Forest Waterway in just over a month, with another world champion, Sanita Puspure, among 13 qualifiers named today.
Indeed, Puspure will be the first Irish female athlete to compete in the Games when she competes on July 20th.
“The Olympic Games are a very special competition that rowers often head for,” said three-time world champion Paul O’Donovan.
“Every Olympic Games is unique in its own way, Tokyo is no exception, and as a team we go into them with high ambitions.
“We have worked hard since we set our Olympic goal and it’s nice to be officially selected before the final weeks of preparation.”
Rowing Ireland Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni commented: âThis is a big moment for us and we are heading to the Olympics with the largest squad of Irish rowers in history and a record six qualified crews.
“I am very proud to work with this group of athletes, coaches and administrators.
“Each of them has put a lot of work into preparing for Tokyo over the past few years.
“The dedication of the athletes and coaches has shown how determined they are to represent Ireland at the highest level.
“We all need to remember that the majority of this team, including the coaches, will be at the very first Olympics, which testifies to the excellent work of coaches and athletes.
“We’re a small country, but we’ve proven that we can perform and achieve together with the best in the world.
“As a team, not only are we happy to go to the Olympics to catch up on numbers, but we leave with the ambition to be as competitive as possible.”
TEAM IRELAND TOKYO ROWERS
Light double scull for men (LM2X): Fintan McCarthy (Cork), Paul O’Donovan (Cork), reserve: Gary O’Donovan (Cork)
Women singles (W1X): Sanita Puspure (cork)
Men’s double sculls (M2X): Ronan Byrne (Cork), Philip Doyle (Belfast), Reserve: Daire Lynch (Clonmel)
Ladies Four (W4-): Emily Hegarty (Cork), Fiona Murtagh (Galway), Eimear Lambe (Dublin), Aifric Keogh (Galway), reserve: Tara Hanlon (Cork)
Ladies pair (W2-): Monika Dukarska (Kerry), Aileen Crowley (Kerry)
Light double scull for women (LW2X): Aoife Casey (Cork), Margaret Cremen (Cork), Reserve: Lydia Heaphy (Cork)