UCD Ad Astra student Paul O’Donovan and his brother Gary took Silver in the LM2x at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Claire Lambe and Sinead Jennings came 6th in their LW2x final, the first Irish oarswomen to make an A final at the Olympics.
It was also the first time Ireland had two crews in A finals at the Olympic regatta and, most importantly, the first time ever that an Irish crew came away with a medal.
The brothers took Ireland by storm during the Olympics with their performances, on the water and on camera, so their medal success is front page news across the country.
Ireland’s Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan won the first Irish rowing medal at the Olympic Games today. The Ireland lightweight double took silver behind France in a thrilling finish in Rio de Janeiro. France were the top crew at the 1,000 metres and 1500 metres, but they took gold only after a three-boat charge to the line.
Friday 12 August 2016 15.50 President Michael D Higgins has congratulated rowers Gary and Paul O’Donovan who won Ireland’s first ever Olympic rowing medal. The brothers from Skibbereen, Co Cork claimed the silver medal in the men’s lightweight double sculls, just 0.53 seconds behind France, who won in 6:30.70.
Silver for Ireland! The O’Donovan brothers do the country proud with amazing Olympic rowing final race – Independent.ie
Gary and Paul O’Donovan have captured the nation’s imagination with their colourful post-race interviews, but they proved today that despite their relaxed attitude, they are serious athletes. The duo started slowly once again, occupying fifth position after 500m but as is their trademark, they roared back into it over the next 1000m and the Cork men were in second place at the three quarters.
The O’Donovan brothers are standing at the water’s edge, shooting the breeze like two lads sitting in the local catching up on some idle gossip. Paul: “Christ, that interview [on RTÉ from the previous day] went out of hand there. We didn’t think that would happen at all.
Until today and the O’Donovan brothers, fourth places have haunted Irish rowing. In Montreal in 1976 Sean Drea was fourth in the single sculls and 20 years later, in the Atlanta Games of 1996, the Lightweight Four of Neville Maxwell, Tony O’Connor, Sam Lynch and Derek Holland also filled the dreaded fourth placing.