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Glover strikes gold at European Championships in long-awaited rowing return

Double Olympic champion Helen Glover struck gold in her first competition for nearly five years as she triumphed with Polly Swann in the women’s pair at the European Rowing Championships in Italy.

On Sunday, the British duo held off the Romanian and Spanish crews in the final to win in 7m and 2.73s in the lakeside city of Varese.

It was Glover’s first meeting since winning gold in the women’s pair at the 2016 Olympics in Rio having taken time out from the sport to start a family.

Now, she is bidding to become the first woman to make the British Olympic rowing team, and compete at the Tokyo Games later this year, after having children Logan, Kit, and Bo.

With a picture of her gold medal, Glover posted on Twitter: “Logie bear, little Kit, my Bo. This is for you.”

The 34-year-old only returned to full-time training in January after saying a return was ‘highly unlikely’ but started to change her mind during the first national lockdown when she started using a rowing machine again.

“I was thinking, ‘am I going to make it down the track?’,” Glover told BBC Sport after the race.

“It’s silly really because I’ve been training every day. But just something about racing makes those doubts come to the surface.

“Now I’ve squashed those, I can look forward to being the athlete I am, and want to be aswell.”

Swann, 32, added: “It’s been a long winter but just to come out with Helen to race feels pretty epic.

“I don’t think we expected to win especially with Helen returning and it being 2015 since we last raced together.”

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