The Paris 2024 Olympic Games start in July – just over two years and 10 months from now.
Irish rowing begins the trialling process for this new cycle on Saturday at the National Rowing Centre (above), with a test of those who wish to stake their claim to join the programme.
Qualifying six boats for Tokyo was a high water mark for the sport here, but there is need for new blood. Young rowers will need to commit to big challenges and those in charge must harness that talent and effort to best effect.
A number of key players in recent years have stepped back, at least for a limited term. Philip Doyle is working full-time as a doctor in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry until August 2022. Daire Lynch plans to return to Yale to complete his studies.
On the women’s side, Sanita Puspure – the reigning world champion in the single – has not retired, but may not be in line for this discipline in Paris. Aifric Keogh is now based in Dublin and studying at Trinity College.
The two men’s fours (coxed and coxless) which took silver medals at the Under-23 World Championships provide cause for optimism, but not all the personnel are available. Jack Dorney of Shandon is now at Harvard.
The cancellation of the senior World Championships this year is unfortunate – not least because a good placing would lock in funding for Irish hopefuls.
The trials this weekend are an early step on the road to Paris.