The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Glover faces mother of all battles in glory quest

- By Jonathan McEvoy

A MEASURE of the task Helen Glover has set herself in aiming for a third consecutiv­e gold was laid bare under a clear blue sky at Sea Forest Waterway early yesterday.

The 35-year-old, who only returned to rowing at the start of the year after ‘retiring’ to start a family, wants to win the women’s pair event with her new partner Polly Swann, 33. But the ‘mother of all comebacks’ is unlikely to be crowned in glory after they finished third in their heat.

Australia, the current world champions from 2019, looked particular­ly impressive in the form of Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre, who finished a comfortabl­e two seconds ahead of the Brits. They need an improvemen­t in Tuesday’s semi-final following what was Glover’s first defeat in 51 races.

But at least yesterday was the third birthday of her eldest child, Logan. Defending champion Glover also has two twins, a boy and a girl, Kit and Willow, born in January 2020.

‘Everything I do out there on the water is definitely for them,’ said Glover.

‘A big part of wanting to return to rowing was to bring them along for the journey, and now they are seeing the fruits of the labour of the ergos in the living room and the watt bike in the utility room, and me lifting weights between making dinners.’

It was a mixed day for the rowing squad overall. Yesterday’s highlight was the performanc­e of the men’s four — Ollie

Cook, Matt Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie — as they breezed into the semis with the strongest British performanc­e of the regatta and the fastest in their event.

But with the eight only making it into the repechage, the chances of the boys defending their title are slim.

Team GB were second in their heat of the women’s lightweigh­t double skulls, finishing behind Romania. The women’s four and eight were both fourth quickest in their heats and also required repechages.

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