FINTAN McCarthy is taking the best lightweight men’s double in the world to a new level, insists former world champion rower Niall O’Toole.
McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan won their fifth straight international gold in the Irish men’s lightweight double when they defended their European title on Sunday, and O’Toole has pinpointed McCarthy as a key reason in this boat’s dominance.
‘The big improvement in the boat this year has come primarily through Fintan. He has kicked on,’ O’Toole told Off The Ball.
‘Fintan beat Paul in the Irish champs. Now, Paul has had a very disrupted year admittedly, and he is not at his best. Fintan is really the person who has brought the boat to the next level. It is at a new level now, and with significantly less time and preparation ahead of these European Championships than before.
‘All of Fintan’s numbers are through the roof in the last year. Fintan is a lot smoother and he backs up Paul in terms of the rhythm. Paul is that gutsy, gutsy racer who gives you the confidence. To row behind Paul must be terrifying because he will just go and go and go. And Fintan can go with him.
‘There are no real big calls in the boat, they know when they are moving.
‘We talk about Paul a lot but the story this year is Fintan and his improvement.’