Glover and Stanning take gold as Brits show class at Euros

31 May 2015 / 14:45

Helen Glover insists European gold will count for nothing if she and partner Heather Stanning don’t perform in Rio next summer.

The duo were in fine form at the European Championships in Poznan as they clocked a new continental women’s pairs record of six minutes 58.280 seconds on their way to victory.

It is the second time in as many years that Glover has taken the title after striking gold with Polly Swan in 2014.

But she admits that 2015 glory will count for little if they can’t replicate their efforts against the best in the business on the biggest stage of all.

“It’s really nice and it’s good to keep them [records] tallying up and keep things exciting, we don’t go on the start line thinking we want to get a record,” she said.

“The aim is always to win the race and not take that for granted but to give us something that is a step in the season and an improvement is great.

“When we are on the water in that race I am thinking about giving respect to that opposition but I think we came here knowing our main opposition isn’t in Europe.

“So we need to use it to build momentum for our season. It’s a matter of perspective because the worst result we could walk away with is qualification.

“I’m not saying we would be happy with that, but we have to be realistic and if we go through to Rio unbeaten and then don’t perform it doesn’t matter.

“What we do this year is all about building forward to the Olympics next year.”

Elsewhere Olympic champion Katherine Grainger took bronze on her return to international competition after a sabbatical following gold at London 2012.

Grainger went in the women’s double scull with Vicky Thornley but the pair couldn’t do enough to pip Poland and Lithuania to the top spot.

"With three races in our first regatta, we really are a work in progress," said Grainger. "To get on the podium is a start."

There were more medals for the Brits on the final day of action with Kat Copeland taking lightweight double sculls gold with Charlotte Taylor and Peter Chambers and Joel Cassells repeating the trick in the men’s lightweight pair.

There was gold for Imogen Walsh in the lightweight single scull while the men’s four of Nathaniel Reilly-O’Donnell, Alan Sinclair, Tom Ransley and Scott Durant took top spot on the podium. 

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