World Rowing Championships: Ireland duo Doyle and Byrne win silver as Shorten helps GB book Tokyo spot

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Doyle and Byrne's 'aggressive' plan yields World silver

Ireland's Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne produced an exciting late charge to take silver in their World Championship double sculls final in Linz.

Banbridge's Doyle and partner Byrne finished strongly in six minutes 06.25 seconds but were behind winners China.

Belfast's Rebecca Shorten helped Great Britain secure Olympic qualification in the women's eight.

Sanita Puspure secured Ireland's second gold of the championships by retaining the women's single sculls title.

In the men's double sculls, Doyle and Byrne's time was enough to beat Poland, who took bronze while Great Britain's John Collins and Graeme Thomas finished fourth.

Ireland had already clinched Olympic qualification with their semi-final victory on Friday and performed strongly once more in the six-boat final, battling hard to stick with China until the end.

China dominated from the outset but Doyle, 26, and Byrne, 21, battled back in the third 500m, eventually overtaking Poland to finish behind pacesetters Liang Zhang and Zhiyu Liu.

Belfast's Shorten helped Great Britain secure Olympic qualification with a fifth-placed finish
Belfast's Shorten helped Great Britain secure Olympic qualification with a fifth-placed finish

With Shorten on board, Great Britain edged out Romania to finish fifth in the women's eight and take the final qualifying spot for the Tokyo 2020 games.

New Zealand's time of 5:56:91 was enough to secure gold, with Australia and the United States settling for second and third.

In the women's single sculls, Latvian-born Puspure's time of 7:17:14 was 3.42 seconds ahead of New Zealand's Emma Twigg, with United States competitor Kara Kohler taking bronze and Great Britain's Victoria Thornley coming in fourth with 7:25:48.

Puspure, who sealed her Olympic berth on Friday with a dominant semi-final victory, defended the sculls title she won in Bulgaria in 2018.