TEAM IRELAND ROWING TEAM CONFIRMED FOR TOKYO 2020

Record Number of Team Ireland Rowers Confirmed for Tokyo 2020

Six Crews officially selected to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo

Team Ireland has officially selected thirteen rowers to compete across six boats at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. The strength and depth in Irish rowing has been to the fore over the past number of years, with the Irish squad travelling to Tokyo as some of the most successful rowers on the circuit, containing multiple World and European Champions and medallists. The Olympic Rowing Regatta takes place in the Sea Forest Waterway and runs from the 23 July until the 30 July 2021.

Qualification for the Olympic Games gave Irish athletes two opportunities to claim and Olympic spot. At the World Championships in 2019 Ireland qualified four boats: the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull, Women’s Single Scull, Men’s Double Scull and the Women’s Pair, coming home with two golds and a silver medal on the way to securing their places. At the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne last month the Women’s Four and the Lightweight Women’s Double Scull stormed home to book their ticket.

Olympic Silver Medallist Paul O’Donovan will be competing in his second Olympic Games, this time partnering fellow Skibbereen rower, Fintan McCarthy. Speaking on his official selection the quadruple World Champion said,

The Olympic Games are a really special competition, and as a rower it is often what you are driving towards. Each Olympic games is unique in its own way, with Tokyo being no exception, and as a squad we are going into them with high ambitions. We have worked hard since we set our Olympic goal, and it is nice to be officially selected ahead of the final weeks of preparation. Fintan and I are ready to push on and excited about doing some racing, and we can see that our teammates are equally driven and striving for excellence.”

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle, said,

“It is great to welcome such a large and high calibre group of Rowers to Team Ireland.  We didn’t imagine that we would qualify so many crews and to have genuine medal prospects within the team is even more exciting.  This is a day to celebrate what hard work, determination and high ambition can achieve.  It is also a time to acknowledge all of the people behind the scenes, key performance support staff who every day are working with the athletes and coaches to make them better.”  

One of the key driving forces behind the success of the Team Ireland rowers is Performance Director Antonio Maurogiovanni,

“This is a big moment for us, and we are going to the Olympic Games with the largest squad of Irish rowers in history and with a record number of 6 crews qualified. I am very proud to be working with this group of athletes, coaches and administrators. Each of them has put in a considerable amount of work these past few years in preparation for Tokyo. The athletes and coaches' dedication has shown how determined they are to represent Ireland at the highest level. 

We all must remember that the majority of this team, coaches included, is at the very first Olympic Games, which confirm the excellent job that coaches and athletes have done. We're a small country, but we've proven we can perform and achieve alongside the world's best. As a team, we are not just satisfied to go to the Olympics to make up numbers, but we are going with the ambitions to be as competitive as possible.”

Rowing is the first competition on the Irish schedule of events, and World Champion Sanita Puspure the first Team Ireland athlete to compete in Tokyo 2020.

The officially selected rowers for the Olympic Games are:

TEAM IRELAND TOKYO ROWERS:

Lightweight Men’s Double Scull (LM2X)

Fintan McCarthy (Cork)

Paul O’Donovan (Cork)

Gary O’Donovan (Cork) - Reserve

Women’s Single (W1X)

Sanita Puspure (Cork)

Men’s Double Scull (M2X)

Ronan Byrne (Cork)

Philip Doyle (Belfast)

Daire Lynch (Clonmel) - Reserve

Women’s Four (W4-)

Emily Hegarty (Cork)

Fiona Murtagh (Galway)

Eimear Lambe (Dublin)

Aifric Keogh (Galway)

Tara Hanlon (Cork) - Reserve

Women’s Pair (W2-)

Monika Dukarska (Kerry)

Aileen Crowley (Kerry)

Lightweight Women’s Double Scull (LW2X)

Aoife Casey (Cork)

Margaret Cremen (Cork)

Lydia Heaphy (Cork) - Reserve

Team Ireland now consists of 28 officially selected athletes, with 83 athletes spots confirmed SEE HERE. The final team announcement is scheduled for the beginning of July. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.

More about the athletes:  

CREWATHLETEBIO
Lightweight Men’s Double (LM2X)   The lightweight double scull is a crew of two people who have two oars each.   Lightweight men weigh between 67.5-72.5kg, average 70kgPaul O’DonovanPaul comes from Skibbereen and has been rowing since 2001. Paul is currently studying Medicine in UCC and rows for UCC Rowing Club. Paul is one of Ireland’s greatest athletes. He won the silver medal, alongside his brother Gary, at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and has since won four consecutive gold medals at the World Rowing Championships; in the Lightweight Single Scull in 2016 and 2017, and in 2018 and 2019 in the Lightweight Double with Gary (2018) and Fintan McCarthy (2019). Paul and Gary also won gold at the 2017 European Championships in the Lightweight Double. Paul won Gold alongside Fintan McCarthy at the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese. In the 2021 Rowing World Cup II, Paul won a gold medal with Fintan McCarthy in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls, held in Lucerne, Switzerland.
FACT: Lightweight rowers weigh in 2 hours before competition, and have one hour to weigh in.Fintan McCarthyFintan is from Skibbereen, County Cork, and started rowing in 2012. Fintan studied in UCC and is a member of Skibbereen Rowing Club. Fintan’s highlights in rowing include winning his first national title in 2016; making the European Championship final in 2019 with his brother Jake; winning the gold medal at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz with Paul O’Donovan; qualifying the Lightweight Men’s Double boat for the 2020 Olympics. In 2020, Fintan won the bronze medal in the Lightweight Men’s Single Scull at the European Rowing Championships in Poznan. In 2021, Fintan won a gold medal alongside Paul O’Donovan in the Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls at the Rowing World Cup II in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Women’s Single (W1X)   The Single Scull is a boat for one person with two oars.Sanita PuspureSanita is currently World Champion in the W1x category. Since she began Rowing internationally in 1999, Sanita has racked up a lot of experience winning two consecutive World Championships in 2018 and 2019 and competing at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. In 2019, Sanita qualified the Women’s Single Scull for the 2020 Olympics. Sanita retained her European Championship in 2020, winning Gold in Poznan in the Women’s Single Scull. At the 2021 World Rowing Cup II in Lucerne, Switzerland, Sanita won bronze in the Women’s Single Scull. Sanita is a back-to-back World and European Champion and one of Ireland’s greatest athletes, remaining in the top 4 of her category since 2017. Sanita continues to be an inspiration for many rowers that are climbing through the ranks. 
Men’s Double (M2X)   The Double Scull is a boat for two people, who each have two oarsRonan ByrneRonan comes from Ballinlough, County Cork. He has been rowing since 2011 and is a member of UCC Rowing Club, where he is studying Nutritional Science. Ronan had a breakout year in 2019 competing in the Men’s Double with Phil Doyle; at the World Rowing Championships, Ronan and Phil won the silver medal and qualified the boat for the 2020 Olympics. The pair had won the silver previously at the 2019 World Rowing Cup III in Rotterdam. After the World Rowing Championships, Ronan won gold at the U23 World Rowing Championships in the Men’s Single Scull. In 2021, Ronan won silver alongside Phillip Doyle in the M2x at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. Ronan was named World Rowing’s Rising Star in September 2019.
 Philip DoylePhil started rowing in 2014 while he was at Queens University studying Medicine, and currently rows with Belfast Boat Club. Despite starting the sport relatively late Phil has excelled in rowing over the last number of years. In 2019 Phil, alongside Ronan Byrne, won silver in the 2019 World Rowing Cup III in Rotterdam. The Men’s Double repeated this at the 2019 World Championships in Linz, winning the silver medal and qualifying the boat for the 2020 Olympics. In 2021, Philip won silver alongside Ronan Byrne in the M2x at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Women’s Four (W4-)Emily HegartyEmily is from Skibbereen, County Cork, and started rowing in 2009. Emily is currently a member of UCC Rowing Club, where she is studying Biological Sciences. Emily’s highlights include winning a silver medal at the 2019 World U23 Rowing Championships in Sarasota and winning the Irish Rowing Championships. Emily won Bronze in the 2020 European U23 Championships in Duisburg in the Women’s Pair and went on to win Silver at the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese. Emily was part of the crew that qualified the W4- at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne.  
 Fiona MurtaghFiona is from Galway and started rowing in 2009. Fiona studied Science in NUIG for one year before transferring to Fordham University in New York. Fiona is a member of NUIG Rowing Club. Fiona's highlights in rowing include winning the Head of Charles two years in a row and winning at the Irish Rowing Championships. Fiona won Bronze at the 2020 European Rowing Championships in the Women's Four and went on to win Silver at the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese. Fiona was part of the crew that qualified the W4- at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne.  
 Eimear LambeEimear is from Cabra in Dublin and currently rows for Old Collegians Boat Club. Eimear started rowing in 2012 and studied Commerce (International) with German in UCD. Alongside her W4- teammates, Eimear won a silver medal in the 2019 World U23 Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida. Eimear first competed internationally at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in 2014 and raced at the Youth Olympic Games in the same year.  Eimear won Bronze at the 2020 European Rowing Championships in the W4- and went on to win Silver at the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese. Eimear was part of the crew that qualified the W4- at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne. Eimear’s sister Claire Lambe competed in the Rio Olympics in the Lightweight Double with Sinead Jennings.  
 Aifric KeoghAifric started rowing in 2006 and has been a member of the High-Performance team for several years. Affric’s hometown is Na Forbacha, Galway, and she began her rowing career in the Jes (Coláiste Iognáid). Aifric studied Food Microbiology in UCC and is a member of UCC Rowing Club. Affric’s highlights include winning the Junior 8s at the Irish Rowing Championships in 2008 and beating two-time World Champion, Sanita Puspure, in a 30-minute erg test. In 2020, Aifric won Bronze at the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, competing in the Women’s Four and went on to win Silver at the 2021 European Rowing Championships in Varese. Aifric was part of the crew that qualified the W4- at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne.  
Women’s Pair (W2-)   The pair is a boat with two rowers, each with one oar.    Monika DukarskaMonika is from Killorglin, County Kerry, by way of Poznan, and has been rowing since 2008. Monika is a member of Killorglin Rowing Club and is currently studying for her PhD in Education, having previously achieved a Masters in Innovation and Design. Monika is a two-time World Coastal Champion in the women’s solo, winning in 2009 and 2016. Along with Aileen Crowley, Monika qualified the Women’s Pair for the 2020 Olympics at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz. Alongside Aileen Crowley, Monika won Silver at the Rowing World Cup II in the women’s pair.
 Aileen CrowleyAileen is from Killorglin, Co. Kerry and started rowing in 2010. Aileen has a degree in Architecture and is a member of Old Collegians Boat Club. Aileen qualified the Women’s Pair for the 2020 Olympics with Monika Dukarska at the 2019 World Rowing Championships in Linz. Aileen had been rowing with the W4 crew but made the successful switch to the W2- not long before the World Rowing Championships.  In 2020, Aileen won Bronze at the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, competing in the Women’s Four. Aileen won silver in the W2- of the Rowing World Cup 2021 alongside Monika Dukarska.  
Women’s Lightweight Double (LW2X)   The lightweight double scull is a crew of two people who have two oars each. For women the weight is from 55-59kg, with a crew average of 57kg.Aoife CaseyAoife started rowing in her hometown of Skibbereen in 2009. Aoife is currently studying Medical and Health Sciences at UCC and is a member of UCC Rowing Club. Aoife’s highlights include finishing 4th in the lightweight double at the 2019 Under 23 World Rowing Championships. Aoife won Silver in the 2020 European Rowing Under 23 Championships in Duisburg in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls. Aoife qualified the LW2x boat alongside Margaret Cremen at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne.   Aoife’s father is Dominic Casey, the renowned Skibbereen coach.  
 Margaret CremenMargaret is from Rochestown, County Cork, and has been rowing since 2014. Margaret is a member of UCC Rowing Club, where she is studying Sports Studies and Physical Education with Irish. Margaret’s highlights of rowing are representing Ireland at international competitions and competing at the Irish Rowing Championships with her club. Margaret won silver at the 2020 European U23 Championships in Duisburg, alongside Aoife Casey in the Lightweight Women’s Sculls. Margaret qualified the LW2x boat alongside Aoife Casey at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne.  

Team Ireland Officially Selected Athletes to date: CLICK HERE

Schedule Athletes officially announced to date HERE

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