Gary and Paul O’Donovan eased into the European Championships lightweight men's double sculls semi-finals with a comfortable Heat 3 win on Thursday lunchtime.

The Skibbereen brothers were on the water in Glasgow just before 1pm and made light work of their opening race.

France set the early pace in the first 500m but the O'Donovans took control thereafter, finishing in a time of 6:27.99, 1.87 seconds clear of the French who also qualified for the A/B semis, which take place on Saturday.

The Corkmen will fancy their medal chances at Strathclyde Country Park, coming into the Euros off the back of their gold medal success at the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne a fortnight ago.

They famously "pulled like dogs" to take silver at the Rio Games two years ago and also have the World Rowing Championships to look forward to; they take place in Bulgaria in September.

Meanwhile Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll were fourth in their men's pair heat earlier this morning, but a second-placed finish in the repechage, just under 2 seconds behind the Serbian boat, has secured a place in tomorrow's semi-finals.

Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey placed fourth of six in their lightweight doubles heat. They'll go in the repechage at 10am on Friday when they must finish in the top two to make the final.

Meanwhile, The Cycling Ireland women’s talent team were the first riders on the track in Glasgow today – competing in heat one of the Women’s Team Pursuit.

Their time of 4.57.325 was not enough for the development squad to progress to the next round of the event tomorrow. 

"We got to be the first athletes to step on the track – that was an honour," said Hilary Hughes following her major championships debut today. The Irish team competing today also included Alice Sharpe, Orla Walsh and Mia Griffin.

The women’s talent team who are competing this weekend are a development squad who have been introduced to cycling and track cycling over the past couple of years, and they are relishing their experience - "It’s incredible to be here and to be competing with the greats, it’s a dream of all of ours. We are absolutely chuffed to be here."

RTÉ has extensive live coverage of the European Championships across RTÉ2, two exclusive web channels, Radio and Online.