Golden wonders Paul and Fintan defend world crown!

September 9th, 2023 4:40 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan celebrate their 2023 world title success.

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THE Skibbereen dream team of Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy defended their crown at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade.

The men from Aughadown made it a hat-trick of world titles (2019, 2022 and 2023) in the lightweight men’s double, as they followed up securing Olympic qualification on Thursday with another impressive performance.

In lane three, the Irish double was fifth after 500m, second at the halfway mark as they set about reeling in the leading Switzerland duo of Jan Schauble and Raphael Ahumada. With 500m to go, Paul and Fintan hit the front and they were never going to be caught, winning gold in 6:32.09, with the Swiss second in 06:34.38 and Italy in third.


‘We've had a good preparation in Spain, it was really hot there, so this was quite pleasant actually,’ Fintan told World Rowing.

‘This year is really good. It's probably been different every year we've been together. It's nice to have new challenges, and do things a bit differently, and see how it works out.

‘I didn't take many looks (out of the boat), I was just focusing on the rhythm. We had a really good row and it's nice to be up there again.

‘We've been saying it's been quiet when there's no Irish in the race. It's been amazing.’

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