Rowers win Ireland’s first gold

Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

Ireland won their first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy triumphed in the lightweight men’s double sculls.

Regarded as the favourites, O’Donovan and McCarthy created history by winning Ireland’s first Olympic rowing gold.

The reigning world and European champions broke away from closest challengers Germany in the home stretch to win in six minutes and 6.43 seconds.

Italy finished a distant third to take bronze.

The pair earned their country’s first gold medal since Kate Taylor’s boxing victory in 2012 – they also became the first male Irish gold medallists since boxer Michael Carruth in 1992.

O’Donovan, 27, now has a gold medal to go with the silver he won at Rio 2016 alongside older brother Gary, who is a reserve team member after missing out to 24-year-old McCarthy.

“I didn’t think about too much how I felt at the time, so it’s difficult to compare it from five years after,” said O’Donovan, who became the first Irish athlete to win Olympic gold and silver medals.

“We weren’t doing it so we could put medals round each other’s neck – it’s more the achievement in itself than the gliss and gloss that goes with it.

“Winning today and silver medal last time, I’ll be a bit happier about that. The silver medal is nice but Fintan did the right job and we went straight to the top at his first Games.

“The two boys (Germany) have been looking strong all week and made us really work hard. Italy were quick off the start and didn’t let us have it easy.”

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