OLYMPIC champions Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy have been crowned the 2021 World Rowing Men's Crew of the Year.
The Skibbereen duo, who enjoyed the perfect year in the Ireland lightweight double scull in 2021, were named winners of the prestigious accolade at World Rowing’s virtual event on Saturday.
Last year Paul and Fintan hit new heights as they won Ireland’s first-ever Olympic rowing gold medal, and won European gold to add to their 2019 World gold. Together, they won every international race in the Irish double last year. They also set the world best time in the lightweight men’s double in their Olympic semi-final to further highlight their utter dominance.
— Kieran McCarthy (@KieranMcC_SS) January 29, 2022
World Rowing commended the Rowing Ireland programme led by HP Director Antonio Maurogiovanni on their surge in rowing over the last number of years. Rowing Ireland's Fintan McCarthy met online during the World Rowing Awards, having just finished training at the home of Irish Rowing in the Kinetica National Rowing Centre, just outside Cork City. McCarthy reflected on the growing system of High-Performance rowing in place at present with a vital pathway and he reflected on the group of athletes all training together at the Kinetica NRC in order ‘to make the boat go faster’.
Rowing Ireland CEO Michelle Carpenter said: ‘It is an absolute honour that World Rowing has awarded our men's lightweight double this prestigious award. I would like to congratulate Paul and Fintan and the whole HP team on this formidable award. As we were sitting at a Rowing Ireland Board meeting this morning the awards were announced. It was such positive news to reflect on where we have come from and where we are going as we head into the Paris cycle.’