Paul O'Donovan is chasing a world championship gold on his own. James Crombie/INPHO
rowing solo

O'Donovan one step closer to world championship medal after storming to semi-final victory

A typically strong finish from the 22-year-old saw him post the fastest time of the day heading into Saturday’s final.

Updated at 17.30

PAUL O’DONOVAN JUST can’t stop winning.

And he’ll be hoping that trend continues when he lines up in the final of the men’s lightweight single sculls on Saturday morning (11.40am) at the world rowing championships in Rotterdam.

The 22-year-old stormed to victory in today’s semi-final after claiming convincing wins in his heat on Monday and in yesterday’s quarter-final.

It was a typically strong finish from O’Donovan, who along with brother Gary claimed Ireland’s first Olympic rowing medal in Rio earlier this month, which saw him reach 42 strokes per minute as he neared the finish line.

O’Donovan was last of the six boats after the 500m mark and fourth at 1000m but he powered home to eventually overhaul Rajko Hrvart, winning in 6.51.710, six tenths of a second ahead of the Slovenian.

The Skibbereen Rowing Club star once again posted the fastest time of the day and it is now looking increasingly likely that he will add a world championship medal to the Olympic one he won in Brazil.

It’s been a day to remember for Irish rowing on the Rotterdam water as the lightweight pair of Mark O’Donovan (no relation) and Shane O’Driscoll also advanced to an ‘A’ final on Saturday following their second-placed finish in their semi-final this afternoon.

Elsewhere, Shane Mulvaney and David O’Malley finished fourth in the final of the U23 lightweight men’s pair, and the U23 lightweight men’s quadruple sculls team of Fintan McCarthy, Shane O’Connell, Stephen O’Connor and Colm Hennessy were fifth in their final.

Earlier today, Ireland’s U23 men’s quadruple sculls team of Daniel Buckley, Jack Casey, Patrick Boomer and Charles McKeown finished sixth in ‘B’ final of their event.

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