Tokyo 2020 - Helen Glover on track to make history as Team GB announce 45-strong rowing team for Olympics
Team GB have named a 45-strong rowing team for the Tokyo Olympics. Among them is two-time Olympic champion Helen Glover who is aiming to make history in the Games. Glover will become the first British rower to appear at the Gamesafter having children when she and Polly Swann compete in the women's pair.
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“This is the thing I was aiming for when I first came back. I genuinely thought it was an impossible mission this time last year but I always had this day in my sights and I feel really proud that it's here and that I’ve made the Olympic team,” Glover said.
I said I wanted to do it to represent other parents and people who didn't believe what was possible.
“I hope I have represented people strongly like that and that other rowers will think there are no barriers for them to get back into the sport.
“The thing I’m proudest of is how I've managed family life. I’m amazed that it’s happened like this and want to thank my husband Steve, my family and all at British Rowing for their support.”
Swann won a silver medal in Rio five years ago and admitted she cried when the letter arrived telling her she would be heading to a second Olympics this summer.
“It's unreal. It's one of those things - when you get nominated, you’re expecting it and then it sinks in and you realise what it means,” she said.
It’s very special. Going to an Olympic Games is what we are all here for.
“I cried when the letter arrived, because I’ve been on such a journey this Olympiad after choosing to take time out working for the NHS during the pandemic last year.
“Being in the boat with Helen takes me full circle. I competed in my first World Championships with her and this is going to be my last Olympic Games and there’s something special about that.
“I love that the two of us have chosen to come back after time away and we’re doing it because it's a sport we love and I think racing at this Olympics will mean a little bit more to both of us.”
The 45-strong row team includes 24 men, 21 men and 37 Olympic debutants.
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British Rowing Director of Performance Brendan Purcell believes the year-long delay has actually boosted Team GB’s chances of picking up medals in Tokyo.
“When we qualified our ten boats for the Olympic Games back in September 2019 we had no idea of the challenges that would lie ahead,” he said.
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“We used the lockdown time away from competition to focus on ourselves and individual development. Since then, the group have thrived, topping the medal table at both the 2021 Europeans and the World Rowing Cup II.
“Obviously, this Olympic Games will be a totally different experience with it being the first time in over two years we’ll be competing against many crews from the rest of the world.
“We don't have a real form line on them but we believe in the work we are doing and the results of our own performances and it’s a great opportunity for the coaches and athletes to go out there and write a unique chapter in the legacy of the British Rowing team in this unique year.”
Team GB rowing crews for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Women’s single sculls (W1x)
Victoria Thornley (Club: Leander Club / Hometown: Wrexham)
Coach: Paul Reedy
Women’s pair (W2-)
Helen Glover (Marlow RC / Penzance)
Polly Swann (Univ. of Edinburgh & Leander Club / Edinburgh)
Coach: Hamish Burrell
Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x)
Emily Craig (University of London BC / Mark Cross)
Imogen Grant (Cambridge Univ. Women’s BC / Cambridge)
Coach: Darren Whiter
Men’s double sculls (M2x)
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC / Preston)
John Collins (Leander Club / Twickenham)
Coach: Dan Moore
Women’s four (W4-)
Rowan McKellar (Leander Club / Glasgow)
Harriet Taylor (Sir William Perkins’ School / Sunningdale)
Karen Bennett (Leander Club / Edinburgh)
Rebecca Shorten (Imperial College BC / Belfast)
Coach: James Harris
Men’s four (M4-)
Oliver Cook (Univ. of London BC / Windsor)
Matthew Rossiter (Leander Club/ Newbury)
Rory Gibbs (Oxford Brookes University / Marlow)
Sholto Carnegie (Leander Club / Oxford)
Coach: Robin Williams
Women’s quadruple sculls (W4x)
Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne (Reading Univ. BC / Hereford)
Hannah Scott (Leander Club / Coleraine)
Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne (University of London BC / Hereford)
Lucy Glover (Edinburgh Univ BC / Warrington)
Coach: Lauren Fisher
Men’s quadruple sculls (M4x)
Harry Leask (Leander Club / Edinburgh)
Angus Groom (Leander Club / Glasgow)
Thomas Barras (Leander Club / Staines)
Jack Beaumont (Leander Club / Maidenhead)
Coach: Paul Stannard
Women’s eight (W8+)
Fiona Gammond (Leander Club / Bicester)
Sara Parfett (University of London BC / Rochester)