Row­ing for gold

O’dono­vans in high spir­its af­ter leav­ing ri­vals trail­ing with in­cred­i­ble dou­ble sculls vic­tory

Irish Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY CLAIRE GOR­MAN

THE O’donovan brothers were the toast of Ire­land last night af­ter scoop­ing gold at the World Row­ing Cham­pi­onships.

Paul, 24, and 25-year-old Gary made waves as they cruised home ahead of their ri­vals in Plov­div, Bul­garia.

The brothers claimed their amaz­ing vic­tory in the light­weight men’s dou­ble sculls was down to the “best strokes we ever pulled in our lives”.

And it ap­pears they pulled an­other stroke af­ter a night out on the town on Fri­day. The pair, who won in­di­vid­ual gold in the 2017 cham­pi­onships, re­vealed their Nor­we­gian ri­vals were forced to make a sub­sti­tu­tion af­ter a boozy ses­sion.

Speak­ing af­ter the win, Gary said: “It was an aw­ful catas­tro­phe for the poor Nor­we­gians be­cause one of them got sick. They had to make a sub­sti­tu­tion late last night.”

Paul added: “We were out on the town with them and we said, ‘Sure we’ve a big day to­mor­row, we need to be on form’, so we headed home early around 2 o’clock. “We met the Nor­we­gians on the way in and they said that by 3am Kristof­fer [Brun] was buck­led and it was best to make the sub­sti­tu­tion then early this morn­ing. He was still hun­gover.” Gary ad­mit­ted the duo, who train with the Skibbereen Row­ing Club in their na­tive Cork, have had their eyes on the world top spot all sea­son. He said: “We planned to win it all year. We’ve been try­ing hard to win ev­ery race and we said the most im­por­tant one would be the world cham­pi­onship fi­nal this year.

TWO GOODWith medals

FAN-TAS­TIC Brothers cel­e­brate with sup­port­ers OARSOME Pair power home to toast suc­cess

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