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Dublin: 14 °C Sunday 21 October, 2018

Lightweight rowing world champions from Skibbereen make switch to heavyweight

Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan won World and European gold this year, but the lightweight pair is not an Olympic event.

Image: Srdjan Stevanovic/INPHO

DESPITE BEING WORLD champions in the lightweight pair, Skibbereen rowers Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan will be rowing as heavyweights henceforth.

O’Donovan and O’Driscoll cleaned house at their own weight this year, winning gold at both the Europeans and the Worlds as well as three golds at Rowing World Cup regattas, but Kieran McCarthy reports in the Southern Star that the Skibb RC duo will move up in weight class due to the fact that the lightweight pair isn’t an Olympic event.

Conversely, the heavyweight pair is an Olympic boat, and O’Driscoll and O’Donovan believes it offers their best chance at qualifying for the Tokyo Games in 2020.

“We have to do this,” O’Driscoll told The Southern Star. “We want to go to an Olympics and this is the best way of going.

“It’s a new chapter, similar to when we started out in the lightweight pair and every year we are going to build on it, up until Tokyo.

“This is a bigger challenge than winning the lightweight world but we’re ready for it. Qualifying for the Olympics is our goal.”

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