They wanted gold and they got it! Last year Brian Colsh and Konan Pazzaia took bronze in the double sculls at the World Under-23 Championships. They came back to this year’s iteration, in the hot conditions of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and were imperious in their win in the final.
Right from the start, Colsh and Pazzaia, who have both competed at senior level for Ireland, looked like they knew what they were doing. They led from the first few strokes. Poland, with a higher stroke rate, tried to catch them, but Ireland laid down a steady 37 stroke per minute and built their lead.
They had 2.47 seconds at 1500 metres and a clearwater lead until the finish. Poland took silver and Germany bronze.
The lightweight men’s double of Rory O’Neill and Ciarán Purdy looked set to join them in a podium finish. They staged a big push in the final quarter to find a medal position, only to catch a boat-stopping crab. They took fourth.