Campbell recovers to make winning start at Henley

05 July 2013 / 16:59

Olympic bronze medallist Alan Campbell overcame a nervy start to progress through his opening race at the Henley Royal Regatta - but London 2012 gold medallist Mahe Drysdale was defeated on his return to competitive action.

Campbell almost toppled in after a false start in the single sculls event - the Diamond Challenge Cup - but regained composure for the restart and defeated Bulgaria's Giorgi Bozhilov.

“I was nervous for that race," said Campbell.

“The starter held us for a long time and I went before the 'go' and because the stake boat boy didn’t let go I very nearly fell in.  Luckily I was just given a false start.  

"But I was very pleased with what I was doing race-wise in the middle of the course."

Campbell's road to Sunday's final is a little easier after Drysdale's defeat, the New Zealander has been trying his hand at endurance events and triathlons since his Olympic success and lost to Azerbaijan's Aleksandr Aleksandrov.

“I hate losing but I am actually quite pleased with the standard I am at now.  This sport is so hard it would be crazy to come back with only a month’s training and beat the top guys," said Drysdale.

Meanwhile, Olympic champion Helen Glover - and new partner Polly Swann, World Cup winners at Eton Dorney two weeks ago - joined forces with two-time Olympic silver medallist Frances Houghton and Vicky Meyer-Laker in a strong looking women's quadruple sculls crew.

The quartet progressed through their heat with ease while elsewhere there were early wins for Great Britain's women's eight and recent World Cup winners Peter and Richard Chambers in the Doubles Sculls Challenge Cup.

© Sportsbeat 2013