Katie O’ Brien and Steven McGowan have qualified their boat for Paris 2024 after winning their heat at in the PR2 mixed doubles at the World Rowing Championships in Serbia.
The Galway RC pair produced a blistering performance in their heat, which featured World Cup III bronze medallists Michal Gadowski and Jolanta Majka of Poland and 2022 World Champions, Ukraine, their first-place finish guaranteeing them qualification for the Paralympic Games next summer.
The qualification is particularly poignant for Clarinbridge native O’ Brien who was unable to find a rowing partner for the Rio and Tokyo Paralympic Games. Partnering with Steven McGowan who only picked up the sport less than two years ago and basing themselves at the National Rowing Centre to train full time has proved its worth with the crew now able to focus their attention on Paralympic glory next summer.
Posting on her social media after the World Championships O’ Brien said, “And sure it only took 11 years. Started rowing after watching the Paralympics in 2012 and sending an email with my Dad to Paralympics Ireland asking how to get involved. What a journey it’s been, currently enjoying some downtime but LFG for the final push”
They will be first crew to compete at the Paralympic Games since London 2012.