Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy have firmly cemented their place in the annals of Irish sporting history with yet another gold medal at the World Rowing Championships in Racice.
O'Donovan and McCarthy were coming off the back of their recent European Championship gold medal, and last year's Olympic gold, and so were firm favourites coming into the lightweight men's double sculls A final on Saturday afternoon.
It was a momentous achievement for both, with Paul O'Donovan taking his fifth successive gold medal at world championship level. The pair won this event in 2019, meaning McCarthy now has a second medal to his name.
Despite all his success, O'Donovan was in typical form with his interview question, playing down the achievement before pulling in some other Irish medalists to enjoy the moment together.
O'Donovan and McCarthy imperious for ANOTHER gold medal
In classic O'Donovan-McCarthy fashion, they seemed completely unphased in taking gold at Racice in the World Rowing Championships. Having taken a typically slower start than their opponents, they kicked into another gear midway through the race, ultimately winning by almost three seconds from the Italian runners up.
🥇🥇 Champions! Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy retain their lightweight men's double sculls World Rowing title with ease | 📺 Watch #WRChamps live now on @RTEOne and @RTEPlayer https://t.co/nKLXOjzjmg #WRCHRacice pic.twitter.com/eFM44Gd24r
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) September 24, 2022
After the race, O'Donovan and McCarthy spoke to RTÉ, and Paul was asked about the magnitude of his fifth successive world championship.
Oh, it's fine yeah.
There's no expectation or pressure really, I think that's just something people talk about, we wouldn't be too concerned about what people think.
The response of Paul O'Donovan may have seemed cold, but it became clear as the interview came on that he was more than happy to chat with RTÉ man David Gillick, and his response simply conveyed how much he is unphased by the continued success he enjoys.
McCarthy was in a slightly more jovial and sincere mood, saying:
We decided to come here without our usual preparation. I'm really proud of how we approached it, regardless of the medal, the trust we had in each other to prepare the way we did is really gonna stand to us in the next few years.
Just really happy and proud.
O'Donovan would then leave his teammate McCarthy's side, with viewers uncertain whether he was simply up and leaving the interview. Instead, he returned with an Irish flag to drape around the pair, and the two broke into laughter when McCarthy forgot Gillick's question as a result.
The race appeared to go perfectly to plan for the West Cork men to the naked eye. However, Paul O'Donovan clarified in his interview that "so much as we make a plan, we don't really!" - all the same, he acknowledged the race had gone to the standard course of events they have come to expect - "very much like usual".
The group would then call over Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen, who had moments earlier won bronze medals in the women's lightweight double sculls. The four stood arm in arm in a special moment for Irish sport.
Despite the muted nature of their interview, Aoife Casey assured us that Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy would be joining them for some well-earned partying to celebrate, on a brilliant day for Irish rowing.