O’Donovan brothers take World Cup silver medal in Poland

Sanita Puspure wins B Final of single sculls at Posnan event

Ireland’s Paul and Gary O’Donovan. “I think we are creeping away from the rest of the pack slowly as the races are going on”

This could have been the year when it all went wrong for the O'Donovan brothers: new demands on their time, exams and the lack of long periods together in intensive training seemed set to derail the season. But their flame still burns. In the blazing sunshine of Poznan, Poland, only one crew could better them – and Olympic champions France are a project for another day.

The French led all the way down the course. Ireland cut through the rest of the field to take second at 1,500m. But it was a slender lead, and coming up to the line China and then Poland charged. The Skibbereen duo always find something, and they did again here to take the World Cup silver medal.

“We missed out on a medal in the first World Cup, we just about got one the last time [at the European Championships] and we just about got one again this time. That’s the nature of the event. It’s very close. And the French are just a class act, ahead of everyone,” said Gary O’Donovan.

Paul O’Donovan was upbeat about the rest of the season, including the final World Cup in Lucerne next month and the World Championships in Florida in September.


“I think we are creeping away from the rest of the pack slowly as the races are going on. When the French are winning by so much they will always have some bit in reserve.

“I think we’ll train hard for the next few weeks and see how we’re doing at Lucerne and if [they do not beat France] try and beat them by the time Florida comes around.”

Sanita Puspure won the B Final of the single sculls, while Monika Dukarska took third, just 3.55 seconds back. Puspure is building after illness, but she needed this win.


“Well, obviously, I want to be the top sculler in Ireland. The gap wasn’t as big as I wanted it to be, but [Dukarska has] done phenomenally well at this regatta.”

“I had four of my best races,” the Killorglin woman said. “That was what I was able to produce.”

On a cold, wet Saturday, Denise Walsh finished sixth in the final of the lightweight single sculls.

The lightweight pair of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll continued their golden roll. They bested a dogged Britain crew, extending the winning run which started at the first World Cup and continued through the European Championships. Success has been a while coming. “We’ve been training and racing for so many years, it’s about time really,” O’Donovan said.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in rowing