Paul O’Donovan beats heavyweight Olympic champion to take bronze

It was a successful day for the Irish in New Zealand as they won two medals

Ireland’s Paul O’Donovanwon bronze at the New Zealand Championships on Lake Karapiro. Photo: Inpho

Ireland’s Paul O’Donovanwon bronze at the New Zealand Championships on Lake Karapiro. Photo: Inpho

 

Irish rowers won two medals in the elite Premier class at the New Zealand Championships on Lake Karapiro.

Paul O’Donovan, the world lightweight single sculls champion, took on top international heavyweights and claimed bronze in the Premier Single Sculls. Robbie Manson, who set the fastest time in the world last year, won gold, while Mahe Drysdale, the Olympic champion, finished two places behind O’Donovan in fifth.

Paul O’Donovan was also part of the Skibbereen four which took a bronze medal. This four was made up of the lightweight double which took silver at the Olympic Games in 2016 (Paul and Gary O’Donovan) with Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll, who won gold in the lightweight pair at the 2017 World Championships.

While it won at the Irish Championships in 2017 this four has rarely raced together, but found good form as the regatta went on.

The Skibbereen men, competing in their off season, had struggled early in the regatta, but improved with competition.

“It was good,” said Ireland lightweight coach Dominic Casey. He was keeping his eye on the bigger prizes, which will come in Europe in the summer. “They’re well set up for the next batch of training.”

The Skibbereen men head for Australia next and are set to compete in the Sydney International Regatta next month.

At the senior level, Max Murphy took his third medal, a gold. The UCD man, who competed for Waikato on his stint in New Zealand, was part of the senior four which won.

Kevin Neville of NUIG, took a silver medal as part of the Nelson senior quadruple.

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