Pics: Cork's Olympic heroes are back on Irish soil

Pics: Cork's Olympic heroes are back on Irish soil

Gold medallists Paul O'Donovan, left, and Fintan McCarthy are interviewed by RTE and Virgin News at Dublin Airport as Team Ireland's rowers return from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

CORK'S Olympic heroes are back on Irish soil.

Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, who won gold in the lightweight double sculls in Tokyo, arrived back at Dublin Airport on Sunday along with bronze medallist rower Emily Hegarty.

The pair delivered Ireland’s first-ever Olympics gold in rowing and Hegarty landed a bronze medal win for Ireland in the women's four in Japan.

Irish rowers with their gold and bronze medals, (left to right) Emily Hegarty, Fiona Murtagh, Paul O'Donovan, Fintan McCarthy, Aifric Keogh and Eimear Lambe, at Dublin Airport following their return from the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Pic: Damien Eagers/PA Wire
Irish rowers with their gold and bronze medals, (left to right) Emily Hegarty, Fiona Murtagh, Paul O'Donovan, Fintan McCarthy, Aifric Keogh and Eimear Lambe, at Dublin Airport following their return from the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Pic: Damien Eagers/PA Wire

It was Team Ireland's first medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games along with her teammates Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe and Fiona Murtagh.

The trio are expected to return to West Cork this evening but The Echo understands there are no formal homecoming celebrations planned. An event is currently being planned for later in the year to celebrate the rowers' success.

Bronze medallist Emily Hegarty with mother Mary and father Gerry at Dublin Airport as Team Ireland's rowers return from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Bronze medallist Emily Hegarty with mother Mary and father Gerry at Dublin Airport as Team Ireland's rowers return from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Paul and Fintan showed their dominance and powered to glory across the course, showing consistency throughout but taking control of the race in the closing 500m to win by a length.

A strong German crew led from the start, following by the Italians, with Ireland in third, and it remained that way through the first 500m and across the second 500m. But the strength of Ireland saw them overtake Italy and attack the German crew across the third 500m of the race, before pulling in front shortly after and never looking back.

In the closing stages they showed their dominance after taking the lead and powered across the line.

Skibbereen's Emily Hegarty stroked Ireland's women's four to a superb Tokyo 2020 Olympics bronze medal, having fought a hard battle to storm back from fifth spot to clinch the bronze in fine style.

 Flags and bunting decorate the West Cork town of Skibbereen after the success of the rowers in the Olympics. Sister and brother Faye and Oisin O'Mahony check out newly installed painted wooden artwork congratulating the Gold medal winners Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy and also Emily Hegarty, Aoife Casey, Lydia Heaphy, Gary O'Donovan and coach Dominic Casey, at an open-air public seating area on Main Street, Skibbereen.
Flags and bunting decorate the West Cork town of Skibbereen after the success of the rowers in the Olympics. Sister and brother Faye and Oisin O'Mahony check out newly installed painted wooden artwork congratulating the Gold medal winners Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy and also Emily Hegarty, Aoife Casey, Lydia Heaphy, Gary O'Donovan and coach Dominic Casey, at an open-air public seating area on Main Street, Skibbereen.

It was a thriller, with Ireland in fifth as they passed the half-way mark. Known for a strong finish, they then turned on the power, passed China and set about chasing down Team GB, who they passed in the closing stages to take bronze. In doing so they made history by becoming the first female athletes to win an Olympic medal in rowing for Ireland.

Favourites Australia took gold with Netherlands taking silver.

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