ROWING siblings Tom and Emily Ford will be on a double mission at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Not only will the Tokyo Olympians and former Grange School students be looking to get among the medals between September 3 and 10, they will be aiming to help their crews qualify boats for the Paris Olympics next year.

Thirty-year-old Tom, who, as well as his sister, competes with Leander Club, has become a staple of the men’s eight and will be joined in the boat by Rory Gibbs (Oxford Brookes University BC), Morgan Bolding (Oxford Brookes University BC), Jacob Dawson (Leander Club / Plymouth ARC), Sholto Carnegie (Leander Club), Charlie Elwes (Leander Club), Tom Digby (Oxford Brookes University BC), James Rudkin (Newcastle University BC).

Emily, 28, will be going for success on two fronts as she will be on duty in the women’s eight but also the women’s pair.

Alongside her in the eight will be her Leander clubmates Natasha Morrice, Rebecca Edwards, Lauren Irwin, Karen Bennett, Esme Booth, Hattie Taylor and Annie Campbell-Orde, while it is with Booth that she will contend in the women’s pair.

The Fords, who hail from Holmes Chapel, will be seeking to capitalise on a successful regatta season so far.

Louise Kingsley, British Rowing director of performance, said: “We have put in some great performances this season which have seen us top the medal table at the European Championships and win the overall World Cup trophy, with medal table-topping performances at World Cup II and World Cup III.

“Now, our attention shifts to the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade where we aim to set ourselves up for Olympic and Paralympic success by qualifying as many boats as possible for the Paris 2024 Games.”

The men’s eight, who will be defending their title from 2022, recorded a British record time at World Cup II, while the women’s eight will be looking to maintain their momentum from one of the stand-out performances of the season with their World Cup III gold in Lucerne.

Emily also won silver with the women’s eight in both the previous World Cup round in Italy and the European Championships in Slovenia, while she also placed fifth with Booth in the women’s pair in Bled.

Tom and his crew retained the European title in Slovenia earlier this year.

Finals will be shown on BBC2, BBC iPlayer and the BBC website.