Olympics

Paul O'Donovan's Mam Gives Him A Run For His Money In Brilliant RTÉ Interview

Paul O'Donovan's Mam Gives Him A Run For His Money In Brilliant RTÉ Interview

Paul O'Donovan's post-race interviews have become the stuff of legend since he and his brother Gary took the world by storm with them at Rio 2016 - and now his mam Trish has joined in the fun with a brilliant interview on the Ray D'Arcy show.

Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy advanced to the final of the lightweight men's double sculls in Tokyo in the early hours of Wednesday morning Irish time, and stand a great chance of medalling in Thursday's final.

Paul O'Donovan's mam gives brilliant RTÉ interview

For O'Donovan's mam Trish though, it's been tough watching in the early hours of the morning, rather than travelling with her son to the Games.

It's so long since I've seen him I think he's forgotten who I am!

I'm broken hearted to be missing it. Rio was not a pleasant place to be in at all, and everyone said, 'oh, Tokyo will be the total opposite' and we were so looking forward to going.

O'Donovan and McCarthy not only won their semi-final, but smashed the world best time in the process - something Trish was disappointed the commentators weren't aware of.

The last thing I said was 'they'll smash this one yet, I reckon'. We were screaming at the poor aul fella presenting it last night, saying 'they're after breaking the record! Seven years of a record and they've broken it!' And he waffled on and everything - do you not know they've broken the record?!

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Fintan McCarthy and Paul O'Donovan of Ireland in action during the Men's Lightweight Double Sculls semi-final at Tokyo 2020. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

It will be a nervous wait for Trish and the O'Donovan family in Skibbereen in West Cork, as they wait until 1:50am Irish time on Wednesday night/Thursday morning to watch their Paul take on the best of the best for a shot at Olympic gold. She has the night planned out to ensure she doesn't miss the big final.

The plan is to go out and get something to eat later on because we're going to have to stay up for this one, this is going to be a marathon this one!

We're all afraid in the house that if we go to bed we'll sleep through the alarm clocks. We'll have to be up at 1:30 or before that even, so we'll stay up.

Quite a few Irish fans will have wondered why Paul O'Donovan isn't competing with his brother Gary again - but his mam revealed that Gary is over in Tokyo with Paul as a team member and substitute. Part of the reasoning for the split up of the iconic duo is down to the two year age gap between them.

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Gary and Paul O'Donovan of Team Ireland with their grandmother Mary Doab on their return from the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria at Cork Airport in Cork. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Trish O'Donovan addressed the split-up of the O'Donovan brothers as a team, saying that there was no hint of bad blood, and said that Fintan McCarthy has been a fantastic teammate to Paul.

I think the way the sport is - when Paul and Gary got to go to Rio, they were the two fastest athletes in the country. It wasn't because they were two brothers. They didn't even have a reserve.

This time, Fintan was fractionally ahead of Gary and he got in there. But they know that that's the way it works.

Trish O'Donovan says, though, that her son knows what he is doing with his interviews. After D'Arcy played a clip of Paul's self-deprecating interview after his semi-final, Trish suggested that he's deliberately winding himself up, and that the new long hairstyle goes in tandem with that.

Paul would wind you up as fast as anything.

You couldn't put Paul under pressure if you tried. I think the hair is a bit of a tactics thing going on there. A bit of sort of intimidating the other athletes and other stuff like that, you know, 'look at me, I've just come down from the mountain and I've got a sheep on my shoulders.'

We're all hoping for the Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy boat to come home in first place on Thursday night and, even if Paul's mam Trish refused to play up to the gold medal hype, you can tell she's a proud mother.

And we now know much better where the O'Donovan's got their charismatic interview skills from.

SEE ALSO: Aoife O'Rourke Shines Despite Olympic Defeat

Eoin Harrington

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