O'Donovan brothers along with UCC crew row to victory in Bulgaria 2 years ago

O'Donovan brothers along with UCC crew row to victory in Bulgaria

The Skibbereen brothers will now continue on to the quarter-finals.

Ireland's most famous rowers, Gary and Paul O’Donovan, have qualified for the quarter-finals of the lightweight men’s double sculls on the opening day of the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv.

The Cork duo boasted an impressive start in the scorching hot Bulgarian city, coming out on top against crews from Greece, Portugal, Argentina and Germany.

They also managed to bag the second quickest time across all five heats, thus solidifying their place in the quarter-finals.

Also pulling out impressive times from Rowing Ireland were Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty who finished in second in their category behind New Zealand and ahead of the US team in third place. Keogh and Hegarty will now continue on to semi-finals as a result.

The O’Donovan success follows on from a silver medal for Ireland in the lightweight men’s double sculls at the European Rowing Championships in Glasgow back in August.

They're competing in the worlds alongside fifteen other Rowing Ireland athletes, with fellow Skibbereen club mates Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey lining out in the women’s equivalent.

Walsh and Casey took home fourth place in the lightweight woman's semi-finals, after New Zealand, Australia and Canada. They now aim to find a way to continue in the competition through the back door of the repechage.

The 2018 World Rowing Championships kicked off on Sunday 9 September and finish up next Sunday. The finals – which the Cork brothers hope to perform in – run on the 15 and 16 of September.