THE Ford siblings can feel mightily proud of their achievements at the 2023 World Rowing Championships.

While Tom returns home from Belgrade, Serbia, with a gold medal around his neck, his younger sister Emily has played her part in making some history.

Both former Grange School students and Tokyo Olympians contributed to qualifying Great Britain boats for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Tom, 30, was in the men’s eight which retained the world title from 2022.

And Leander Club’s Tom along with his crewmates Jacob Dawson, Morgan Bolding, Rory Gibbs, Sholto Carnegie, Charlie Elwes, Tom Digby, James Rudkin and cox, Harry Brightmore, secured the boat’s Olympic place in fine style before jumping into the River Sava to celebrate.

Speaking for the team, Gibbs said: “In a race like that, with that sort of competition, not only do you have to deliver your best race physically you have to execute it as best you can technically, which is a tall order.

“But we’ve done that, I think it’s a credit to the whole crew, to our friends and family. Everyone is a part of it.

“The job isn’t quite done, we’ve got next summer and the Paris Olympics, but for now we’ll take that win, celebrate and build towards next season.”

Meanwhile Tom’s sister Emily and Esme Booth made history as the first British women to qualify two boats at the same regatta.

This resulted from them placing third in the women’s pair B final on Saturday and then fourth with Natasha Morrice, Rebecca Edwards, Lauren Irwin, Karen Bennett, Hattie Taylor, Annie Campbell-Orde and cox, Henry Fieldman, in the women’s eight A final 24 hours later.

Campbell-Orde, speaking for the group, was full of praise for Emily and Booth’s double qualification success.

“Two members of our crew qualified two boats, which was a new challenge that no one else has done, so I’m proud of what they have achieved,” she said.

“I’m so impressed with them. All of us watching were so proud of them. It’s so hard to do it twice and they’ve done it. Next year we’ll be so grateful for that because it gives us more seats.”

Her emotions were mixed regarding the eight’s fourth place.

“I’m very pleased to have qualified as it’s something we’ve been working towards throughout the season,” she said.

“But, obviously, fourth is probably the worst place to finish, so I’m also sad.

“I think it’s a product of the field this year, racing against the best.

“But this is such a new project for us, I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and ultimately I’m looking forward to next year because we’ve made it possible for there to be a next year!”

Great Britain finished the 2023 World Rowing Championships with nine medals and qualified 13 boats for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, placing second on the medal table, and tied first on number of golds.

Summarising the regatta, Louise Kingsley, GB Rowing director of performance, said: “It’s been a fabulous week.

“The first important step was to gain qualification spots. We have nine boats secure through to the Olympics and four boats going to the Paralympics next year.

“The next step is to allow some time to enjoy the medals and then go back and do lots of analysis and then get our heads down for the big one next year.”