Paddles representing various nations at the World Rowing Championships today ©Getty Images

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray maintained their remarkable seven-year undefeated streak in the men's pair as the quarter-finals got underway today at the World Rowing Championships in France.

The New Zealand pair, the London 2012 Olympic champions, are enjoying a 57-race unbeaten run and comfortably booked their spot in the semi-finals on Lake Aiguebelette.

Crews from The Netherlands, United States, Serbia, Australia, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Canada, France, South Africa and Romania also secured their passage through as the Championships begins to reach the business end.

In the lightweight men's single sculls, reigning world champion Marcello Miani won his quarter final to become one of 12 men to qualify, while in the lightweight men's double sculls, defending champions John Smith and James Thompson of South Africa were among those to progress.

They were joined in going through to the 12 team semi-finals by the 2013 world champions, Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli of Norway, and French 2015 World Cup winners, Jeremie Azou and Stany Delayre.

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Sophie MacKenzie and Julia Edward on their way to securing a semi-final berth today ©Getty Images

The lightweight women's double sculls saw quarter final progression for British Olympic champion Katherine Copeland, winner of the gold medal with Sophie Hosking at London 2012.

Now racing with Charlotte Taylor, they were followed to the semi-finals by New Zealand's reigning world champions, Sophie MacKenzie and Julia Edward.

The men's single scull saw progression for 2004 and 2008 Olympic Champion Olaf Tufte, but the Norwegian was beaten by Lithuanian Mindaugas Griskonis in his quarter final.

World champion and two-time Olympic silver medallist Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic was also among the qualifiers.

In the women's single sculls, Czech Olympic champion Mirka Knapkova is safely through, as well as World Rowing Cup winner Kim Crow of Australia.

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