Ireland's world lightweight rowing pair champions Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll have decided to switch to heavyweight class in a bid to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

The Skibbereen men won gold, as did Olympic medallist Paul O'Donovan, at September's world championships in Florida and also won the Europeans and Rowing World Cup.

However, their lightweight class (70kg average) is not an Olympic event so they are moving up to to the unrestricted weight in attempt to qualify for Tokyyo 2020.

"We have to do this. We want to go to an Olympics and this is the best way of going," O'Driscoll told The Southern Star.

"It’s a new chapter, similar to when we started out in the lightweight pair and every year we are going to build on it, up until Tokyo.

"This is a bigger challenge than winning the lightweight world but we’re ready for it. Qualifying for the Olympics is our goal."