Gary and Paul O'Donovan have qualified for the final of the double sculls in Rio

The brothers from Skibbereen produced a fantastic performance to finish in third

Gary and Paul O'Donovan have qualified for the final of the double sculls in Rio

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Gary and Paul O'Donovan have qualified for the final of the men's double sculls at the Olympics in Rio. 

The Skibbereen pair finished in third behind winners France and the United States in second.

It was an extraordinarily tight race, as the three teams near the top all finished close to one another with very little to choose between them for the majority of the course.  

The brothers started slowly but looked comfortable in the closing stages as they held off the challenge of the Team GB's Richard Chambers and Will Fletcher, who were forced to settle for fourth. 

The brothers hit the headlines earlier this week after they provided a memorable interview in the wake of their qualification for the the semi-final, stating that the adverse conditions were of no concern to them and that it would have been a "bit of craic" to take to the choppy waters to see how they get on.

Their performance was particularly good given they were involved in one of the faster races on the day, and their time would have seen them qualify as winners in the other semi-final.

It was the second piece of good news for Irish rowing off the back of the qualification of Claire Lambe and Sinead Lynch for their final mere minutes beforehand.