Sanita Puspure eased into the women's single sculls semi-finals at the World Championships in Austria on Wednesday, with lightweight double act Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy following suit to keep their Olympic dream alive.

Reigning World and European champion Puspure needs to come home in the top nine overall to seal a ticket to the Tokyo Games next summer.

She won her quarter-final on the waters of Linz to make the A/B semi-finals, which take place on Friday.

Earlier, O'Donovan and McCarthy also progressed with the minimum of fuss, winning their quarter to make Thursday's A/B semis. They must finish in the top seven overall to make the Olympics but came into this tournament in good form, having taken silver at the World Rowing Cup Regatta in Rotterdam in July.

They will now fancy their chances of kicking on to the final and earning their place at the Games.

There were plenty of other good news stories for the Irish crews in action.

The women's pair of Aileen Crowley and Monika Dukarska and the men's pair of Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne both marched on to their A/B semis. Both crews took second in their respective quarter-finals.

Crowley and Dukarska are back in action on Thursday, while Doyle and Byrne go again on Friday.

In the women's PR2 single sculls race Katie O'Brien took third to make Friday's A final. The Galway rower came in behind Kathryn Ross of Australia, who won in a new world record time of 9:24.99, and Annika van Der Meer of the Netherlands

Meanwhile Gary O'Donovan was third in the men's single sculls quarter. He'll now compete in Friday's semi-final, though this is a non-Olympic event.

There was no luck for the lightweight double of Aoife Casey and Denise Walsh who had to settle for a place in the C/D semis.