TWO Herefordshire sisters are on cloud nine this week after coming back from the Under-23 World Rowing Championships with medals.

Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne bagged a gold in the double sculls, while her younger sister Charlotte came back with a silver in the women's eight at the Rotterdam event.

It was a special occasion for their mum Kathryn Byrne, who had never seen Charlotte perform on the world stage before.

"She made sure she was on the finish line to see it, which was really nice," said Mathilda, who is from St Weonards.

"She was watching with her eyes shut and screaming.

"The eights generally do well, so we assumed that they would come away with a medal.

"We're all really ecstatic with how everything went, it hasn't sunk in yet."

For Mathilda, the target is now Tokyo 2020 after winning gold at her third World Under-23 championships.

"I've raced with the seniors twice this year, at the European Championships and an Olympic qualifier, so the aim now is Tokyo," she said.

Mathilda, who began rowing at Hereford Rowing Club, teamed up with Jess Leyden in the double scull to win the event by six seconds.

"I can’t believe how well it worked out," said Mathilda.

"We felt really confident all the way and we knew we had to put in as much as we could in the second half of the race to be successful.

"We knew exactly what the race plan was."

Defending champions Romania held a narrow advantage at the halfway stage, while Belarus were also in the mix.

But Mathilda and Leyden powered away to secure the win.

As for Charlotte, she was part of a women's eight team that have now made it a hat-trick of podium finishes at the last three World Championships.

She teamed up with Alice Bowyer, Emily Ford, Chloe Brew, Holly Hill, Madeline Badcott, Anna Thornton, Heidi Long and cox Sasha Adwani to beat off the challenge of Russia and pick up a silver medal, behind the United States.