Gary and Paul O’Donovan had to take the long route into the semi-finals at the Rowing World Cup III regatta in the Swiss city of Lucerne on Friday.

The Olympic silver medallists finished third in their heat of the lightweight men’s double sculls, meaning they had to enter a repecahge race which they won with two seconds to spare.

The Skibbereen duo will now have their sights on a top three finish in Saturday's semi-finals to progress to Sunday’s A Final and remain in medal contention.

Both Monika Dukarska of Killorglin and Old Collegian’s Sanita Puspure booked their place in the semi-finals, having progressed through heats and quarter-finals.

Puspure produced a stellar performance to beat a strong field in her race, winning the contest outright and producing the fastest time across all four quarterfinals by far.

Dukarska followed up with a strong third place in her contest, and both scullers now look toward the A/B semi-finals on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan performed well in the lightweight men’s pair ‘Exhibition Race’, taking second.

As all six crews automatically qualify for the A Final in this event, this race was for allocation of lanes only and the Irish will now line out in lane four for Saturday’s final. They are aiming for their fourth gold medal of the 2017 season.