Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy expect their hometown of Skibbereen is a “bit of a mess” after they won gold for Ireland in rowing.
The Irish duo dominated the men’s lightweight double sculls final to pick up their country’s first gold medal and O’Donovan’s second medal after winning silver at Rio 2016.
O’Donovan and McCarthy are huge fan favourites among Olympic fans and speaking to Eurosport after their win, O’Donovan was asked what it means to bring gold back to Skibbereen in Cork.
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“Ah sure they’re all delighted back there, they’ve flooded the streets, barrels bursting everywhere – they were so keen to devour it all,” O’Donovan said.
The place is a bit of a mess at the minute. We’ll be looking forward to getting back to that all the same.
Asked why such a small town in Ireland has managed to produce such serious rowing pedigree, O’Donovan had a simple reply.
He said: “I’d say we’re just all totally insane. It’s great craic as well.”
While O’Donovan had Olympic experience, McCarthy was drafted in to replace his partner’s brother Gary at Tokyo 2020.
McCarthy said he felt no pressure heading into the race despite being hot favourites.
“No, I don’t know about pressure,” McCarthy said.
“Obviously there’s expectation, since we’ve been doing quite well all season.
“But, we don’t pay much attention to that really. We just kind of do our thing and if we win, we win. That’s it.”
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O’Donovan and McCarthy’s success in the boat was not the only triumph in rowing for Ireland at the Games.
Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh, and Emily Hegarty won Ireland’s first medal of Tokyo 2020 this week by winning bronze in the women’s fours.
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