Helen Glover makes history while men's four reach final

Helen Glover made history as the first mum to represent Great Britain in rowing at the Olympics before having to rush off to wish her son a happy birthday. 

The double Olympic champion decided to call it quits after Rio, starting a family. She is now a mum of three, with eldest son Logan celebrating his third birthday on Saturday. 

However they could not celebrate together, with Glover having made a dramatic return to rowing during the pandemic and now back on the biggest stage of all. 

She and Polly Swann secured their places in the semi-finals of the women’s pair, albeit in third place in their heat, before birthday duties called. 

Glover said: “I’ll get Polly to sing happy birthday to him with me later. There are so many more important things going on than just racing a heat in Tokyo. There’s my little boy at home, we’ll celebrate when I get back.  

“When I think about what they all mean to me, especially on a day like his birthday, everything I do out there on the water is definitely for them.” 

Glover and Swann were not the only Brits to secure qualification at the Sea Forest Waterway. The men’s four, made up of an entirely new quartet as they look to extend GB’s run in the event to a sixth gold, booked their place in the final with victory in their heat. 

And the enormity of it all clearly hit home for Ollie Cook on the start line. 

He said: “It’s our first Olympics. So you’re standing there and all these thoughts go through your head. This is the Olympics, don’t screw it up.  

“It’s really good to put that to bed. We’re now Olympians, this is where we are, this is where we race. We belong here.” 

Meanwhile Emily Craig and Imogen Grant are into the semi-finals after second spot in the lightweight sculls. 

However, there is still work to do for women’s four and the women’s eight, both of whom will have to go through the repechage. 

That is also the case for the men’s eight, led by Team GB flag bearer Mohamed Sbihi, who knows that the crew are capable of much better than they showed in their heat, a performance that they will have to produce in Wednesday’s repechage. 

He said: “It’s not the performance that we wanted. We want to say it’s not a true reflection of ourselves and the way we’ve been training, but ultimately Wednesday will prove that.”