Glover in eye-catching debut win at GB Rowing Team Winter Assessment

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Olympic Champion Helen Glover produced an eye-catching performance at the GB Rowing Team’s Winter Assessment in Lincolnshire today.

The 28 year–old took the women’s single title on the 5km time-trial course 14 seconds ahead of Katherine Grainger, her nearest challenger and fellow 2012 gold medallist.

Glover was surprised at the size of the gap. She said: “I think that’s what surprised me the most. It didn’t feel like fireworks or anything special but I know that, except for a few small things that might have meant marginal gains, that was my best performance. I laid it all out there”.

It was Glover’s first win at this event. Grainger is on the come-back trail this winter having sat out two post-Olympic seasons and this was her best result since her return.

Vicky Thornley, who pushed Glover so hard at the substitute event to the planned Assessment in December which was cancelled due to high winds, was an overnight withdrawal on medical grounds.

Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne was the stand-out performer at U23 level, coming home seventh and ahead of senior athletes like 2013 women’s pair World Champion Polly Swann. She is now part of the GB Rowing Team Start (talent identification and development) programme at Reading.

Charles Cousins won the equivalent men’s event with an 18 second margin over Alan Campbell, the 2012 Olympic single scull bronze medallist.

Campbell’s season went awry in late 2014 with some unusual underperformance from the Coleraine man. Today he finished ahead of Sam Townsend and Pete Lambert from GB’s world silver medal winning men’s quad as well as John Collins and Jonny Walton from the 2014 men’s double scull crew.

As anticipated World and Olympic Champion Alex Gregory and World Champion Mohamed Sbihi were winners of the men’s pair.

The duo recorded the verdict five seconds ahead Olympic men’s four Champion Pete Reed and World Champion Constantine Louloudis. Reed and Louloudis came together as a scratch pairing as a number of high profile withdrawals through illness and injury affected this event. Alan Sinclair and Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell were third.

Newcastle University’s U23 pairing of James Rudkin and Oliver Knight also caught the eye as they were sixth overall.

The lightweight men’s and women’s single events take place this afternoon.

RESULTS – top ten only. Full results: www.gbrowingteam.org/trials

OPEN

WOMEN

Single scull

1. Helen Glover (Minerva Bath) 20:16.45
2. Katherine Grainger (St Andrew/Marlow RC) 20:30.70
3. Kristina Stiller (Tees RC) 20:39.88
4. Frances Houghton (Tyrian Club) 20:41.44
5. Melanie Wilson (Imperial College BC) 20:49.29
6. Louisa Reeve (Leander) 20:50.62
7. Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne (Reading Univ BC/Reading RC) 20:56.86
8. Polly Swann (Leander Club) 20:59.19
9. Jessica Leyden (Leander Club) 20:59.57
10. Heather Stanning (Army RC) 21:03.73

OPEN

MEN

Pair

1. Alex Gregory/Mohamed Sbihi (Leander Club/Molesey) 17:04.04
2. Pete Reed/Constantine Louloudis (Leander/Oxford Univ BC) 17:09.29
3. Alan Sinclair/Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell (Leander/Univ of London BC) 17:41.00
4. Tom Ransley/James Foad (Leander/Molesey BC) 17:46.05
5. Barnaby Stentiford/Callum McBriertey (Leander) 18:05.06
6. James Rudkin/Oliver Knight (Newcastle Univ BC) 18:05.36
7. Francis Highton/Sam Arnot (Leander Club) 18:09.03
8. George & Matt Rossiter (Leander Club) 18:09.93
9. Chris Boddy/Matthew Whaley (Leander Club) 18:14.26
10. Thomas Ford/Timothy Clarke (Newcastle Univ BC) 18:17.62

Single scull

1. Charles Cousins (Reading Univ BC) 18:23.34
2. Alan Campbell (Tideway Scullers) 18:41.10
3. Sam Townsend (Reading Uinv BC) 18:43.41
4. Peter Lambert (Leander Club) 18:47.10
5. Stewart Innes (Leander Club/Reading Univ BC) 18:50.49
6. John Collins (Leander Club) 18:52.54
7. Angus Groom (Leander Club) 18:53.84
8. Jonathan Walton (Leander Club) 18:56.17
9. Nick Middleton (Leander Club) 19:11.29
10. Frazier Christie (Bath Univ BC) 19:18.92

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