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O'Donovan and McCarthy cruise into double sculls final with awesome display

Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen in the women’s double sculls semi-final.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

AN OUTSTANDING EFFORT from Irish pair Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy saw them cruise into the lightweight double sculls final. 

The Skibbereen clubmen dominated the semi-final as they took first in a world’s best time of 6:05.33. From the off, they set the tempo and found their rhythm. A chasing Italian boat wilted down the stretch as Ireland put clear water between themselves and the rest of the race. 

The final qualifying spot went to Belgium. 

After winning the European championship and the World Cup regatta, O’Donovan and McCarthy can complete a stunning year with a gold medal on Thursday. In this form, it is difficult to see who can topple them. 

Elsewhere, Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen finished fifth in their lightweight women’s double sculls semi-final and must settle for a spot in tomorrow’s B final. Having been in contention early on, a top-three spot proved a bridge too far.

The pair crossed the line behind Switzerland, clocking 6:49.24. 

The British boat took first in a time of 6:41.99. France were second with the Dutch in third. 

In the women’s pair semi-final, Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska missed out on a qualifying place and will enter the B final. From the 500m mark on a trio of Britain, Canada and Australia began to move clear of the field. 

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Greece mustered a terrific later surge to claim victory with the British boat in second and Canada just behind. Eventually, Crowley and Dukarska crossed the line in fifth.

It was a superb morning at Sea Forest Waterway for the Irish. Earlier, the women’s four of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty finished third in their final to claim Ireland’s first medal in Tokyo. 

About the author:

Maurice Brosnan

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