BROTHER and sister Tom and Emily Ford won gold medals for Great Britain at World Rowing Cup 1 in Serbia.

Tom's success came in the men's eight after Emily had put down a marker in the women's pair.

The Holmes Chapel pair, who formerly raced for The Grange School in Hartford, were in new-look boats as the preparations get underway for the Paris Olympics in 2024 and they played a part in GB topping the medal table in Belgrade.

Emily and her Leander Club colleague Esme Booth, who was making her senior debut, took the first gold of a storm-interrupted final day.

“I just kept calling for trust – we had a really solid race plan and I knew that if we trusted the process and the training, then we were just going to walk through. Once we started to move it was really good,” said Emily.

Tom along with the other members of the men's eight crew – Rory Gibbs, Morgan Bolding, David Bewicke-Copley, Sholto Carnegie, Charlie Elwes, Tom Digby, James Rudkin and cox Harry Brightmore – won the final gold of the day in style.

Considering the absent nations, he put their commanding win into context, saying: “At the end of the day, you have to try and win against the competition that’s there.

"As far as we know, there are a lot of decent crews that weren’t there and we’re focusing on what was there, but also what’s to come in the season. It’s a long season, so there’s a long way to go but more to come hopefully.”

In total Great Britain won 14 medals – eight gold, two silver and four bronze.

British Rowing director of performance Louise Kingsley said: “For the first race of the Paris cycle, it’s good to see our team come together and work as a new look-and-feel unit.

"It’s as much learning how we work as the team behind the team to support the athletes, as well as giving athletes the platform to go out and race, and they’ve done themselves proud.

“It’s great to top the medal table but we’re realistic that there’s a long way to go this season. We’ll see our crews shaping and evolving as we go through the season, and I’m sure we’ll see other crews from the rest of the world coming in.”