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Disappointment for Ireland as Gary O'Donovan ruled out of World Championships

There’ll be no world medal to add to the O’Donovans’ Olympic silver.

Image: Srdjan Stevanovic/INPHO

THE WORLD ROWING Championships will proceed as planned in Sarasota, Florida, in spite of the recent hurricane which leveled areas within the state.

Irma’s damage in Sarasota in particular was limited, and so this year’s competition will go ahead on 23 September.

There has been a disappointing update where the Irish team is concerned, however, as lightweight double sculls Olympic silver medalist Gary O’Donovan has been forced to withdraw due to ‘a viral infection that has compromised his preparations for the event,’ per an official release by Rowing Ireland.

Ireland will consequentially not partake in this year’s men’s double sculls, but O’Donovan has been selected by High Performance management to travel as a reserve, while his brother Paul will now focus on defending the lightweight single sculls crown he won at last year’s Worlds in Rotterdam.

The O’Donovans’ Skibbereen club-mates Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan will look to build upon their European gold in the lightweight men’s pair, with Patrick Boomer of Belfast Rowing Club and Fionnan McQuillan-Tolan of NUIG competing up in the men’s pair.

Old Collegians’ Sanita Pušpure will represent her adopted homeland in the women’s single sculls, while European silver medalist Denise Walsh of Skibbereen RC will race its lightweight variant.

Aileen Crowley and Aifric Keogh of UCD BC and UCC BC respectively will fly the flag in the women’s pairs.

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