Great Britain enjoy rowing success in World Championships

Zac Purchase and Mark Hunte
Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter completed their win to reach the quarter-finals

Great Britain have enjoyed a successful opening day at the World Championships in Bled, Slovenia.

Eleven crews in total won their individual heats and moved closer to securing Olympic qualification.

All the British heat winners are guaranteed a top-12 finish, which should be enough to confirm qualification for the 2012 Olympics.

The men's four of Tom James, Alex Gregory, Ric Egington and Matt Langridge beat world champions France.

The result saw the quartet reach the semi-finals and Egington is confident that their best is still to come.

"We've done some awesome stuff on training camp in Portugal and now we need to step on from today," he said.

"It was good to get our first race out of the way."

Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter, reigning champions in the lightweight men's double, put a disrupted season behind them to complete a comfortable heat win and reach the quarter-finals.

The duo have not raced together since they failed to medal in the lightweight double sculls in Munich in May, after Purchase came down with a virus.

There were also successes for defending women's double scull champions Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins and the men's pair of Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs-Hodge.

Alan Campbell made a comfortable start to his campaign in the single scull, while Marcus Bateman and Matt Wells were the first to qualify for the semi-finals in the double scull.

Britain's successful opening day was completed with heat wins from the lightweight men's four and pair, the women's pair, the women's double, the men's eight and lightweight women's single.