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Irish silver medalists O’Donovans a matching pair

The O'Donovan brothers secured Ireland's first medal in rowing and first of Rio 2016 games, taking silver in lightweight double sculls.

By: Reuters | Rio De Janeiro |
August 13, 2016 3:35:13 am
Rio Olympics Rowing Men The O’Donovans took silver behind French scullers, Pierre Houin and Jeremie Azou. (Source: Reuters)

Ireland’s Paul O’Donovan isn’t asking for much out of his post-Rio future he’d just like to talk to someone other than his brother and teammate, Gary.

The O’Donovan brothers secured their country’s first medal in rowing and first of the 2016 games on Friday, taking silver in the men’s lightweight double sculls.

The pair, whose father first brought them out on the water in a double scull in 2001, blended their lives seamlessly in their quest for Olympic glory – perhaps too seamlessly.

“We’re almost like the same person. We’ve spent so long together the past years,” said Paul, 22. “We’re just excited that there’s other people to talk to. We can’t even talk to each other because it’s like talking to myself.”

The O’Donovans took silver behind French scullers, Pierre Houin and Jeremie Azou, who completed the course in 6:30.70. The Norwegian team claimed bronze.

While Gary, 23, said the brothers’ goal had been to win their event, the pair were in good spirits at a post-race press conference, where they joked and discussed plans to celebrate.

“We always say the sport of rowing is hard enough,” said Gary. “If you don’t have fun, it’s going to be even harder, so we try to make it as easy as we can.”

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