Philip a step closer to Paris Olympics!

ROWING star Philip Doyle is on the verge of booking his dream ticket to the Paris Olympics.
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The Banbridge-born doctor and rowing partner Daire Lynch, from County Cork, staged a sensational sprint finish to capture bronze for Ireland at the first World Cup regatta of the year in Varese, Italy, on Sunday.

The result moves them a step closer to clinching their places as the pair who will represent Ireland in their class at the Olympics this summer.

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It was a flying start to the season for Philip. In a tight contest, the Dutch world champions Melvin Twellaar and Stefan Broenink edged out Italy for gold while the Irish pair produced their trademark sprint to overtake Germany on the line for bronze.

Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch started their season with a bronze medal in the men's double sculls final.Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch started their season with a bronze medal in the men's double sculls final.
Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch started their season with a bronze medal in the men's double sculls final.

The local man gave his reaction to Chronicle Sport: "Absolutely delighted. There were six or seven of the already-qualified boats for the Olympics, so we thought it would be a great time to test the boat speed and see where we are roughly about a year and a month since we first started our partnership last year, when Daire arrived back from America, where he was working in New York.

"It was a good hit out. One of our best times in the double over the last 13 months. We had to learn and change along the way with the regatta over the weekend, producing one of our best performances on Sunday to pick up the bronze medal.

"We closed the gap to the world champions to two seconds, which last year was four, four-and-a-half over 2,000 metres, so that's another very positive thing for us.

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"We had to produce one of our biggest and most hurtful sprints that we've had to produce in a race on Sunday to push through the Germans who were really, really strong.

"Delighted to get another world level medal, in rowing, which they don't come easily, I have learnt over the years. We're seeing improvements and we're looking for improvements from this regatta."

So now, there's one eye on the Olympics…

Philip says: "It is full steam ahead for Paris. We're not going to the European Championships in Hungary, just because they're only next week, and we're choosing to prioritise going to Lucerne, for the second of the three World Cup series leading up into Paris.

"And hopefully from that point on that will 100 per cent secure our selection as the men's doubles for the 2024 Olympics.

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"Last weekend was just one step in the right direction, picking up a podium spot on that journey.

"So, just working hard for the next few weeks, training camp, back to Italy for a few weeks before Lucerne."

Doctor Philip is taking a break from his day job for the Olympics, saying sponsorship is always needed - and most welcome!

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