The lightweight men's double sculls duo of Paul and Gary O’Donovan have won their quarter-final to secure their place in the A/B semi-final at the World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria. 

The 2016 Rio silver-medallists raced against strong contenders Norway, Switzerland and New Zealand this afternoon. 

The brothers were in fourth at the 500m mark but finished strongly to secure first place, New Zealand finished second and Norway were third.

It's been a busy day for the Irish so far in Plovdiv.

The lightweight men’s quad (LM4x) of Andrew Goff (UCD), Fintan McCarthy (Skibbereen) Ryan Ballantine (ERBC) and Jake McCarthy (Skibbereen) were out first.

They progressed to the A final on Friday after finishing second in their repechage behind Turkey.

It is the team's first Championships racing together, which makes them an unknown quantity, Jake McCarthy told RTÉ Sport.

"A few of the countries like the Czech Republic and Germany have been racing through the season so they kind of know what speed each other are," he said.

"This is our first regatta together so they don't really know how fast we're going to be."


The women’s double (W2x) of Aileen Crowley (UCD) and Monika Dukarska (Killorglin) were also in action, they came in fifth in their repechage and will next compete in the C final.

Ireland’s newly formed men’s double of UCC athlete Ronan Byrne and Queen’s University Belfast’s Philip Doyle were due to race in their repechage at 1:58pm but racing was suspended for the day due to weather conditions.

That also means the reigning champion lightweight men’s pair of Skibbereen’s Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan will have to wait until tomorrow for their first World Championships quarter-final as heavyweights.