Paul O’Donovan puts medical studies on hold to compete at World Rowing Championships

Both crews that won medals for Ireland at the Olympic Games in Tokyo will head up the Ireland challenge for the World Rowing Championships in the Czech Republic.

aul O’Donovan had seriously considered missing the Championships in Racice because of his medical studies. However, he has opted to compete, and will partner Fintan McCarthy in the lightweight double. This crew won gold in Tokyo and matched it at the European Championships last month.

The Ireland women’s four which took bronze in Tokyo has been re-formed. Aifric Keogh, Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe and Fiona Murtagh were the first Ireland women’s crew to medal at Olympic level, but Hegarty and Murtagh had been drafted into a pair this season.

Now, however, that crew is back together. Natalie Long and Tara Hanlon, who teamed up with Keogh and Lambe in a four which took silver at the European Championships, will form a pair.

The new Ireland women’s double of Sanita Puspure and Zoe Hyde is also named. Puspure had to withdraw during the Europeans because of illness.

While the Ireland entry for the World Championships, which begin on Sunday, September 18, has been submitted, Ireland high performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni may make tweaks or changes before the team competes.

The men’s heavyweight entries are novel. The double has the new combination of Olympian Philip Doyle and Konan Pazzaia, who took a bronze medal at the World Under-23 Championships.

The men’s four is also built around the success of recent under-23 crews. Jack Dorney and Ross Corrigan join John Kearney and Nathan Timoney of the four which took bronze at the World Under-23 Championships in July.

Brian Colsh and Alison Bergin, who have also impressed at U-23 level, are named in single sculls.

Margaret Cremen is rejoined by Aoife Casey in the women’s lightweight double which took eighth at the Olympic Games.

Lydia Heaphy, who did well with Cremen this season in the absence of Casey, is set to compete in a lightweight single, as is Hugh Moore. Interestingly, Gary O’Donovan, who has been cycling, is not part of the squad.

Pararowers Katie O’Brien and Steven McGowan will compete in the PR2 mixed double and O’Brien is also entered in the PR2 single.

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