Two Fermanagh men will be in action in Racice in the Czech Republic next week when they row for Ireland in the same crew at the World Senior Championships.

Ross Corrigan and Nathan Timoney came up through Portora Boat Club and Enniskillen Royal Boat Club and also rowed together at Junior level for Ireland. And now they will form part of the Ireland Fours that will compete at the Senior Worlds which commences on Monday.

“It is both our first senior World Championships and it is the first World Championships since 2019 because of Covid so the whole team is just buzzing and it is good to be a part of,” said Nathan, who has returned following a long term back injury.

“It is something that we have aimed for for a number of years now so it is good to be here and in the mix of things,” added Ross.

That the duo are in the same international crew and have come through the same club is a great achievement.

“It is a testament to the training we did back in Portora and up through the system. Nathan was out with a back injury for a while and then came back to it and it is cool to be back rowing together at this level,” added Ross.

This is an opportunity for the crew to pit themselves against the very best in the world and it is a chance for them to gauge where they are at with the longer term goal of competing at the 2024 Olympics in mind.

“We have both been at the U23s, Nathan was there this year and I was there last year and we both have medals from them but seniors is a whole different ball game. You are racing against the best in the world, against Olympic champions. We are just trying to go as fast as we can. We are just focused on ourselves and ideally we would like to come away with our best performance and then build again towards Paris,” said Corrigan.

“We are a young crew, it is a huge leap but we would always say that we want to be in the mix with the World’s best so if we can achieve that and be in close range of former Olympic and World champions it would be the perfect position to be in and we can push on from that over the next two years.

“For us it is about setting that bench mark for heavier rowing in Ireland and we want to build from that and work towards Paris 2024, if the opportunity came,” added Timoney.

Being competitive over the next ten days is the target for the crew and ultimately they would love to make it through to the A Final which takes place on Saturday week.

“We want to be competitive, which is a very broad marker, but the way we see it is there is no point saying we want to go and do a certain time because that’s conditions dependent and things like that.

“Obviously, the main goal is a gold medal, everyone wants that, but you just want to come away with a best performance and we are very focused on the process over the outcome, the outcome will come from us doing what we know we can do.

“Our main aim is to be in the A Final and if you are in the A final then anything can happen but we just want to put down a good performance and be happy with it,” said Corrigan.

Next year’s World Championships are the Olympic qualifiers so this year will see the crew gain vital experience as they work towards that.

“This is crucial for next year because the 2023 World Championships are the qualification World Championships for the Olympics so while we put pressure on ourselves to perform this year, next year will be a big one where we want to have that qualification spot.

“This is good for us to see senior world champions and give us a good feel for what next year will be like but with a little bit less pressure. This is the start of the process for next year,” commented Timoney.