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Olympic hero Paul O'Donovan cruises to victory at world rowing championships

The Lisheen man has secured his spot in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.

Paul O'Donovan gets a closer look at his Olympic medal.
Paul O'Donovan gets a closer look at his Olympic medal.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

NOT BEING ONE to rest on his laurels, Irish Olympic silver medallist Paul O’Donovan got his world rowing championships off to the perfect start with a convincing win in his lightweight men’s single sculls heat.

The 22-year-old, whose brother Gary (23) carried the Irish flag at the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics last night, cruised to victory in the third heat this afternoon to book his spot in Wednesday’s quarter-finals in Rotterdam.

Just 10 days on from the Lisheen siblings’ second-place finish in the men’s lightweight double sculls, the younger O’Donovan led from start to finish in a commanding display.

O’Donovan had more than five seconds to spare over Yuki Ikeda of Japan in second, with Serbia’s Milos Stanojevic a further three seconds back in third.

In choppy conditions and driving rain, O’Donovan posted a time of 7.11.730, the fourth quickest effort across the five heats (25 rowers).

The UCD physiotherapy student is expected to return to Ireland next week, alongside brother Gary, to a hero’s welcome and wild celebrations in his native west Cork.

But first, he’s got his sights set on world championship glory in the non-Olympic event.

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Alan Waldron

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