Rowing: Byrne impresses at Ireland trial

Heavyweight sculler beats Paul O’Donovan in the six kilometre trial

Paul O’Donovan: was pipped by  Ronan Byrne in the Ireland trial (heavyweight single scull) at the NRC in Cork.  Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho

Paul O’Donovan: was pipped by Ronan Byrne in the Ireland trial (heavyweight single scull) at the NRC in Cork. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho

 

The Ireland trial confirmed that the top rowers in the international system have opened a gap on those below them.

Denise Walsh and Niamh Casey had hoped to show that they could bridge the gap as a new heavyweight pair, but when they were given the chance to test themselves on the Sunday at the NRC they were not as competitive as they had hoped.

The rise and rise of Ronan Byrne continues. The heavyweight sculler beat Paul O’Donovan in the six kilometre trial on the Saturday.

Byrne teamed up with Philip Doyle in the double on the Sunday to beat the lightweight double of O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll, who had a fine trial.

Fintan McCarthy, who was O’Donovan’s partner in the world’s top lightweight double this year, had to miss Sunday’s session because of an arm injury.

McCarthy’s setback was one of the few negative factors of a good weekend, according to Antonio Maurogiovanni, the Ireland high performance director.

“I am waiting for the medical report [on Fintan] ,” he said, adding “I hope it is just a small bump in the road”.

Maurogiovanni praised John Kearney and Molly Curry. The Cork man moved up from junior to be competitive at under-23 level, while Coleraine woman Curry has set a high standard at junior level.

“I would have been happier if I would have also seen James O’Donovan and Jack Dorney,” he said.

O’Donovan is taking a year out to study. Dorney took a bronze medal at the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston

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