Paul O’Donovan’s bid to add a World Championship gold to his Olympic silver got off to a flying start at the World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam today.

The 22-year-old showed no signs of an Olympic hangover as he eased to victory in his lightweight single sculls heat with a dominant display in difficult conditions.

O’Donovan, who along with his brother Gary claimed silver in the men’s lightweight double sculls in a thrilling finish with France and Norway in Rio, had more than five seconds to spare over Japan’s Yuki Ikeda in second place.

The West Cork native and UCD clubman comfortably qualified for Wednesday’s quarter-final, where he will look for a favourable lane draw.

The Ireland senior lightweight pair qualified directly for the semi-finals after Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished second to world champions Great Britain in their heat.

The Championships feature senior events not in the Olympic programme along with under-23 and junior competition.