TWO of Knutsford's five Tokyo Olympics participants kick into action this weekend.

The Kennys, husband and wife cyclists Jason and Laura, have the potential to become Great Britain's greatest Games medal winners of all time but their time on the track comes in week two.

Tommy Fleetwood, who finished tied 33rd at the British Open at the weekend, has his opening round on the Olympic golf course next Thursday.

So it is rowing siblings, Tom and Emily Ford, who have first shot at flying the flag for the town in Japan.

The Fords will make their Olympics debuts in their boats at Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay in the early hours of Sunday morning.

And the man who helped to shape their sporting lives says he is not surprised by their achievements.

Tom, 28, and his sister Emily, 26, started rowing at The Grange School in Northwich where Graham Jump was head of the sport’s coaching programme that he built on ‘enjoyment’ and ‘fun’.

Jump, who now works at Weaverham High School and is chairman of Northwich Rowing Club, said he is very proud of the pair from Holmes Chapel.

“They were both captains of the club and very humble kids,” said Jump.

“They were easy to coach, good listeners, had a very hard-working ethic, they expected nothing and earned everything.

“They were a delight, and all the people around them in their squads were good kids. It was a good club and a vibrant and happy place to be.”

Tom won medals at Henley and in national championships but the former Newcastle University student’s Great Britain honours came later.

Jump added: “Emily did make it into the Great Britain team while at school. That was a very proud moment when I got a phone call to say she’d been selected for the world championships in Bulgaria.

“They were both very popular athletes within school and its rowing club. A delight to have around.

“If anything wanted doing, you didn’t have to ask they just knew it wanted doing and that was their mentality. They’re all-round consummate professionals who will go on to do great things whether that be Olympic medals or anything else.”

The Fords were guided at The Grange by Paul Rafferty, who coached three-times Olympian Matt Langridge when he was at Northwich Rowing Club.

“He’s just very good at what he does, doesn’t push them too much but pushes them just enough,” said Jump.

The Fords will race in the eights heats on Sunday between 3am and 3.30am UK time. Any repechage requirement would be on Wednesday between 2.30am (women) and 2.48am (men), while both crews are expected to be in finals scheduled for Friday, July 30, at 2.05am (women) and 2.25am (men).