UCD alumnus O’Donovan brings home gold at World Rowing Cup

Posted 19 July, 2018

Paul, left, and Gary O'Donovan winning gold in the men’s lightweight double sculls at the World Rowing Cup in Switzerland. Credit: Sportsfile

 

University College Dublin alumnus Paul O’Donovan and his brother Gary have won gold in the final of the men’s lightweight double sculls at this year’s World Rowing Cup.

The silver winning Olympian, who recently graduated from UCD’s School of Public Health Physiotherapy and Sports Science, captured the top prize at the competition in Switzerland earlier this week.

The former physiotherapy student and his brother were placing third in the 2000m race, behind Denmark and Belgium, until they pushed ahead to the front of the pack at the halfway mark.

The Irish pair held their lead throughout the remainder of the race despite a strong push from Belgium in the final 250m, to cross the line 0.8 of a second ahead of their closest rivals in a nail-biting finish.

Speaking to WorldRowing.com after the race, Gary O'Donovan said: "It was a pretty good race, Denmark took over for a while but then we swapped. We managed to throw ourselves over the finish line in first.

"We like to take the opportunity to race so we’ve been quite busy recently."

As a UCD Ad Astra Elite Sports scholar, Paul and brother Gary made history in 2016 when they became the first ever Irish rowers to win a medal at the Olympics, taking silver in the lightweight men’s double sculls final at the Summer Games in Rio.

The talented pair will now compete for Ireland in the lightweight men’s double at the European Championships over the August bank holiday weekend.

Elsewhere, there was more good news for UCD rowers as a team won the Men’s Intermediate Eights after a thrilling race at the National Rowing Centre.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations