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From Skibbereen to Tokyo: How Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy delivered Olympic gold for Ireland

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Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan show off their gold medals. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan show off their gold medals. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

AP

Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan show off their gold medals. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

In August 2016, there was roughly 9,000km between Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy on that fateful Friday morning when Irish rowing broke through a glass ceiling, the former winning Ireland its first ever Olympic medal in rowing, the latter watching him do it from a bar in Skibbereen.

McCarthy was 20 at the time, a student at UCC and a promising young rower. O’Donovan was 22, announcing himself in that lightweight double sculls final in Rio as one of his sport’s brightest stars.


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