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18 for 18: Aoife Casey & Margaret Cremen keeping the future bright for Irish rowing

It was a landmark year for the Corkonian duo with success at the European Junior Championships.

OVER THE COURSE of 10 days, our 18 for 18 series will look at 18 Irish athletes aged 18 or younger set for a big 2018. You can read the rest of the series here

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 14.32.53 Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen Source: Rowing Ireland

THEIR SUCCESS MAY have been overshadowed by the achievements of their elder peers, but 2017 was also a landmark year for young Irish rowers Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen. Their recent results mean the pair are two of the athletes aged 18 or under who we reckon can continue to prosper over the next 12 months.

Just like the other rowers who have brought international success back home to Ireland over the past two years, Casey and Cremen both hail from Cork. And while Casey is another product of Skibbereen in the south-west, Cremen hails from Lee Rowing Club in the city.

Back in May, Casey and Cremen made history by winning Ireland’s first medal at the European Junior Championships, with the Irish women’s double taking home silver medals from Krefeld in Germany by finishing second behind the hosts.

At the World Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania in August, they narrowly missed out on an opportunity to compete for medals again by finishing fourth in their semi-final when a top-three finish was required.

Nevertheless, the pair — who are both 18 — delivered a good showing in the ‘B’ final by pipping France to first place. Seventh in the world and a silver medal at European level made for a very encouraging year for Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen.

Casey’s father, Dominic, is widely credited as the architect of much of the success that has emanated from West Cork recently. As preparations began for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, he was appointed to Irish Rowing’s high performance coaching team at the beginning of the year on the back of Paul and Gary O’Donovan’s success at Rio 2016.

The day after winning a medal at the European Junior Championships in May, Aoife Casey was back in class at Skibbereen Community School, where she’s due to sit her Leaving Certificate exams next summer. The duo have been coached by Casey’s mother, Eleanor, and Dan Buckley from Lee Rowing Club.

Things are looking good for Irish rowing these days at international level, but with the likes of Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen also showing huge potential when competing with the best juniors in the world, the future appears to be bright too.

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Paul Dollery

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