Roscommon rower books place in the Paralympic Games in Paris 2024

Katie O’ Brien and Steven McGowan in action. Pic: Benedict Tufnell/World Rowing

The 2023 World Rowing Championships began on Tuesday September 3rd in Belgrade, Serbia and run until September 10th. This is the first opportunity for the Irish rowers to gain quota spots for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Steven McGowan from Ballaghaderreen in Co. Roscommon and Katie O’ Brien from Clarinbridge in Co. Galway began their qualification campaign for Paris this morning in Heat 1 of the Para Mixed Double Scull at 9:30am.

The duo won the race with a time of 8:12.01, narrowly beating Poland by 1.6 seconds. The win guarantees them a place in the World Rowing Championship final on Saturday and a ticket to Paris 2024.

Katie, from Clarinbridge in Galway is the current World Champion in the Women’s PR2 Scull as well as holding the world record both on the water and on the rowing machine. She also won bronze in the single at the 2019 World Championships.

Roscommon man Steven was involved in a life changing single-vehicle crash in Fairymount in September 2017 which left him with a severe spinal injury. After a long period of rehabilitation, he took up rowing less than two years ago to join Katie in the mixed double in the hopes to qualify for the 2024 Paralympics. They are both now fully based in Cork training at the National Rowing Centre.