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Irish rowers score bronze victory from UK team at Tokyo Olympics

The Irish women’s rowing quartet have managed to secure the bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics final in a blistering race after passing out the UK team in the last 200 metres.

Though the Irish team started off behind, falling to second-last place by the half-way mark only ahead of Poland, rowers Keogh, Lambe, Murtagh and Hegarty picked up the pace in the second half, overtaking China around the 1,500 mark.

With Great Britain ahead, the Irish team gradually gained on them, finally overtaking in the last 200 metres and beating them to bronze by half a length – making them the first Irish rowing team to ever win a medal at the olympics.

Australia ultimately won gold, and the Netherlands won silver.

“It was a bit touch and go,” said Ireland’s Lambe.

“Throughout the race I’m like ‘we’re coming fourth, fifth …’ I was looking out and I knew we were slipping back and we kind of said to ourselves that if that happened we’d just go early.

“I think in the last kilometre we back ourselves and everyone else out there knows that in the last 1k we just start to go. We could kind of hear it left and right, ‘don’t let them, don’t let them’.”

Rower Emily Hegarty said that she hoped the achievement would inspire other young girls to follow in their footsteps.

“It’s a bit surreal,” she said.

“It’s something for the future and hopefully it will be the first of many and will give the young girls coming up now real hope. If we can do it, anyone can.”

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