Skibbereen's Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy are European champions again.
They made it back-to-back European Championship titles in Munich, Germany, on Sunday, to take another rowing gold.
The Olympic gold medal-winning Lightweight Men’s Double of Paul (UCCRC RC) and Fintan (Skibbereen RC) made Munich their first outing for the double this year, after their win at Henley Royal Regatta last year, following their Olympic success. Earlier this week they won their opening heat, which took them straight into the A Final on Sunday with the fastest time out of the heats.
And in the final they put on a great display, sitting comfortably before making their move in their final 500m and then dominating, crossing the finish line to huge cheers and applause with four seconds to spare over their closest rivals, Italy.
More huge cheers were to follow when Fintan and Paul took their place on the podium to receive their gold medals.
Earlier Cork's Margaret Cremen (UCC RC) and Lydia Heaphy (Skibbereen RC) finished just outside the medals in fourth in the LW2x A Final Skibbereen's Aoife Casey (UCC RC) came fourth in the LW1x A Final, and Katie O’Brien and Steven McGowan, both Galway RC, finished fourth in the PR2 Mix2x A Final.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Eimear Lambe (Old Collegians), Tara Hanlon (UCC RC), Aifric Keogh (DULBC) and Natalie Long (Lee Valley RC) started the A Finals on a high, winning a silver medal in the Women’s Four.
They were in the mix right from the off, showing their stuff as they took the early lead, but Great Britain began to take over the lead in the second quarter.
But there was very little in it, with GB winning by two seconds from Ireland, who held off the challenges from Romania and Denmark. This GB four had previously won at both World Cup I and World Cup III, so this display shows where Ireland are at.
"I am very proud of this group of girls. The W4- and W2- improved on their performance compared to World Cup II relative to the rest of the field." said Giuseppe De Vita, Senior Women's Head Coach, after Saturday's races.
Unfortunately, earlier two Irish women's crews had to pull out due to illness. "I feel very sorry that we didn't get to see the W2x and W8+ which, I am sure, would have been very competitive. As coaches there's nothing more that we can ask for than a steady, consistent improvement up to the major event, and this group is consistently growing therefore I am very thankful and grateful of all of them, for their trust in the program."
Those crews included Cork's Sanita Purpure (Old Collegians RC), Tara Hanlon, and was being coxed by Leah O’Regan (Shandon BC).
Earlier on Saturday Fiona Murtagh (NUIG BC) and Emily Hegarty (UCC RC) finished fourth in Women’s Pair.