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Who are Ireland’s rowing world champions?

The three Skibbereen men lit up Sarasota in Florida to take home gold medals for Ireland

Ireland’s Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll celebrate winning gold at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida. Photo: Detlev Seyb/Inpho

Mark O’Donovan

Age: 28

From: Skibbereen

Work: Strength and Conditioning coach

Is no relation to fellow Skibbereen Rowing Club athletes and Olympic silver medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan.

Mark is from Poundlick, Skibbereen and already had a world under-23 silver, which he won with Justin Ryan in Belarus 2010.

He works as a strength and conditioning coach. The pair won gold at the European Rowing Championships as well as at the three World Rowing Cup regattas.

They finished fourth in the world last year and were favourites to win the gold medal on Friday.

Mark O’Donovan and SHane O’Driscoll in the lead-up to the world championships. Photo: Inpho

Shane O’Driscoll

Age: 25

From: Skibbereen

Work: Civil Engineer

Shane was in the same class in National School as Gary O’Donovan and just one year ahead of Paul. The two have been close friends since those early days in school.

He has represented Ireland internationally every year since 2008 and since teaming up with Mark, the pair have always oozed potential.

They came seventh at the world Champion in 2015 and fourth last season. Shane, who comes from the town land of Kilkilleen, has two brothers Denis and Kevin and is an engineer.

Paul O’ Donovan

Age: 23

From: Skibbereen

Work: UCD studying physiotherapy

The UCD student started rowing on the Irish junior team in 2008 at the Home International Regatta in the junior quad scull and has been on the Irish team every year since. O’Donovan was introduced to rowing in aged around seven when his father took the two brothers to Skibbereen Rowing Club. His father, himself a rower, coached them in the sport and remained a coach to O’Donovan until 2013

He moved to the double scull with his brother Gary and qualified for the Rio Olympics.

That proved a highly successful move by the Lisheen pair as they won silver in Rio before Paul added gold in the 2016 Rotterdam World Championships.

Paul O’Donovan after advancing through his semi-final on Thursday. Photo: Inpho