Stanning and Glover together again at British trials
London Olympic Champions Heather Stanning and Helen Glover of Great Britain are back together for the first time since 2012 and showing they still have their Olympic magic.
The duo beat Polly Swann and Jessica Eddie who finished less than a second back over 2000m in head wind conditions. Swann won gold with Glover at last year's World Rowing Championships, but Coach Paul Thompson decided to put Glover and Stanning together for these trials. Stanning has been back training since late last year.
The men's pair was fiercely contested with members of last year's World Champion men's eight competing against each other. A tight battle went on between Mohamed Sbihi and Alex Gregory against George Nash and Andrew Triggs Hodge. Sbihi and Gregory finished first by just under a second.
Two-time Olympic Champion Pete Reed had to withdraw after racing the preliminary rounds due to bronchial issues. Reed was racing with William Satch who took bronze at the London Olympics in the pair. Satch was then partnered with Matthew Tarrant and together they finished fifth.
The sculling squad raced each other in singles and Victoria Thornley finished first in the women’s single sculls. Thornley was Great Britain's single sculler for 2013, finishing seventh in the world. The very experienced Frances Houghton was second. Houghton is a four-time Olympian and last year raced in the women's double sculls. Beth Rodford was third.
The men's single sculls race caused quite a stir. Alan Campbell has been Great Britain's single representative for the last eight years, but two penalty cards meant Campbell was disqualified from the final. Campbell was late to the start and false started. The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist was still allowed to race. It was Charles Cousins, however, that took first. Cousins was third in the men's quadruple sculls last year and has been a regular in that boat.
Two seconds behind Cousins was Graeme Thomas, with Campbell’s third place finished marked as “disqualified” on the time sheet.
Lightweight trials saw Katherine Copeland win easily in the single among the women. Copeland returns to rowing after a year off following her Olympic Champion title in the lightweight women's double sculls in 2012. Imogen Walsh was second. Walsh raced in the lightweight double in 2013.
Jamie Kirkwood led the way for the lightweight men, with William Fletcher in second. Kirkwood raced for Great Britain in the lightweight single last year. Olympic medallists in the lightweight four, Peter and Richard Chambers were third and fourth respectively.
These trials are part of the selection process for the upcoming European Rowing Championships. These Championships will be held in Belgrade, Serbia at the end of May. The British team will be announced on 14 May 2014.