"Hopefully it gives young girls real hope that anything is possible. If we can do it, anyone can!" 1 month ago

"Hopefully it gives young girls real hope that anything is possible. If we can do it, anyone can!"

"We never gave up."

Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty are Olympic bronze medalists and the first ever Irish women to claim a rowing medal at the games.

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The Irish quartet pulled off a blitzing finish to climb from fifth to third and take home the bronze, pipping Great Britain in the process.

The final of the coxless fours was won by Australia, who got to the finish line 0.4 seconds ahead of The Netherlands. At the halfway mark, after 'a rocky start', the Irish team were in fifth, but they upped the stroke-rate and went for it.

They powered past the Chinese team and then had Team GB in their sights. It was tight as could be over the last 400 metres but Keogh, Lambe, Murtagh and Hegarty were not to be denied. They had their opponents' number, though, and would claim the bronze with a second to spare.

Ireland coach Giuseppe De Vita congratulates Fiona Murtagh after the Ireland Women's Four finished in 3rd place to win a bronze medal. (Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile)

There were ecstatic scenes in the water, and when they got back to celebrate with their coach and members of Team Ireland.

Following the race, Lambe said, "We knew we had a chance going into [the final], definitely, and we a bit of a rocky start there, so we didn't make it easy for ourselves, but we never gave up."

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"It's a bit surreal," Hegarty added. "it's something for the future and hopefully this will be the first of many, and it gives the young girls, coming up now, real hope that anything is possible. That if we can do it, anyone can."

Eimear Lambe's older sister, Claire, was part of the first Irish women's crew to make an Olympics final, at Rio 2016. "She was an inspiration for me, growing up," she declared, "as I knew what was possible."

Elsewhere at the Sea Forest Waterway, Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan steamed into the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull Final after winning their semi in a rapid time of 6:05.33, two seconds clear of Italy. That 'A' final takes place on Thursday.

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