Lambe: Gary O'Donovan is a brilliant role model

April 23rd, 2021 3:45 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Gary O’Donovan finished fourth in the A final of the lightweight men's singles sculls at the recent European Rowing Championships.

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GARY O’Donovan has been hailed as ‘a brilliant role model’ for how he has dealt with losing his seat in the Olympic-bound Irish lightweight men’s double.

The 2016 Rio silver medallist is currently in a single scull while World and European champions Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy push ahead in the double, but instead of feeling sorry for himself Gary insists he will make sure he is ready if he is called on.

‘If something goes wrong I’ll be there as a back-up, and I can hopefully do a good job if that happens,’ Gary has said – and 2016 Irish Olympic rower Claire Lambe has praised how the Skibbereen man has dealt with the setback of losing his seat in the Irish double.

‘The fact that they (Paul and Fintan) performed so well it would be really hard for Dominic (Casey) to open that boat up again.  I don’t think he will and I think Gary is aware of that as well. He has readjusted his goals for the single this year and just to be ready if he does get the opportunity to step up,’ Lambe said.

‘I think Gary has shown a mature attitude and he is a brilliant role model for that reason. There can only be one winner and there are a lot of people that have to go through the knocks of sport, and how Gary is handling this is a lesson for others in the team: just reset and set yourself a new goal. He is doing that really, really well.

‘He inspired people five years ago in Rio and his attitude now is pretty inspirational.’

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