Helen Glover: Double Olympic champion in GB rowing squad for European Championships

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning
Helen Glover (left) won gold in the coxless pairs at Rio 2016 alongside Heather Stanning
2021 European Rowing Championships
Date: 9-11 April Venue: Varese, Italy
Coverage: The semi-finals will be shown on the Red Button, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website on Saturday, 10 April and the finals on Sunday, 11 April on BBC2

Double Olympic champion Helen Glover has been named in the Great Britain rowing squad for the European Championships in Varese, Italy.

It will be her first competitive race since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Glover, 34, who won coxless pairs gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, decided to make a comeback after spending time on a rowing machine during last year's first national lockdown.

She is in the Women's Pair with Olympic silver medallist Polly Swann.

The pair have previously won world and European titles together, in 2013 and 2014.

Glover, who is a mother of three, is now setting her sights on becoming the first woman to make a British Olympic rowing team after having children.

She had previously said a comeback for Tokyo 2020 was "highly unlikely", but enforced time indoors and a desire to get fitter after the birth of her twins combined to bring her back to the sport.

"I've been back full time for three months now and being selected for the Europeans is the first step on my mission to become the first woman in British rowing history to make an Olympic team after having children," she said.

"I'm finding the journey exciting and extremely challenging, but I hope I can return from Varese with some success stories to share with the children."

Brendan Purcell, British Rowing's director of performance, said the 64-strong squad is looking forward to competing again at the three-day event, which starts on 9 April.

"It has been 20 months since we last competed at an international regatta," he said. "When we came home from the World Rowing Championships in September 2019 with 10 boats qualified for the Olympic Games and three boats qualified for the Paralympic Games, we had no idea of the challenges that would lie ahead.

"I'm incredibly proud of every single member of the GB Rowing Team, from the athletes to the coaching staff. They have worked tirelessly over this period, maintaining fitness levels and working towards a time when we could safely compete again."

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