Olympics: Helen Glover selected in Team GB rowing squad for Tokyo

Two-time Olympic champion Helen Glover will partner Polly Swann in the women’s pair, as the British Olympic Association announces the 45 rowers who have been selected to compete for Team GB in Tokyo later this year.

Glover and Swann are two of the 24 women selected, with 21 men also chosen to compete at the Olympic Games. In total, there will be 37 Olympic debutants alongside eight returning Olympians.

The 34-year-old’s return to the sport comes after a four-year period away. Glover, who is now a mum of three with a two-year-old and one-year-old twins, is unbeaten in international racing since before 2012.

“This is the thing I was aiming for when I first came back,” the two-time Olympic champion said. “I genuinely thought it was an impossible mission this time last year, but I always had this day in my sights.

“I feel really proud that it’s here and that I’ve made the Olympic team.

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.

Helen Glover

“The thing I’m proudest of is how I’ve managed family life,” she added.

“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.”

Together Glover and Swann will be looking to build on their recent European title and it also means a huge amount to Swann to be selected.

“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,” the junior doctor and rower said.

“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. I think racing at this Olympics will mean a little bit more to both of us.”


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Elsewhere in the squad, Rio 2016 gold medallist Mohamed Sbihi will be racing in the men’s eight alongside Olympic debutants Josh Bugajski, Jacob Dawson, Tom George, Charlie Elwes, Oli Wynn-Griffith, James Rudkin, Tom Ford and Henry Fieldman (cox).

The Rio 2016 silver medallist Vicky Thornley will be heading out to her third Olympic Games and realising her dream of racing in the women’s single sculls.


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The European and World Rowing Cup II champions Ollie Cook, Matt Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie, will be looking to continue Team GB’s historic success in the men’s four.

“There is a phenomenal heritage of men’s fours from Great Britain but ultimately we want to go as fast as we can and write our own story,” Rossiter said after being selected.

“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,” Brendan Purcell, British Rowing’s director of performance said.

“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)

Women’s pair (W2-)
Helen Glover (Marlow RC / Penzance) and Polly Swann (Univ. of Edinburgh & Leander Club / Edinburgh)

Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x)
Emily Craig (University of London BC / Mark Cross) and Imogen Grant (Cambridge Univ. Women’s BC / Cambridge)

Men’s double sculls (M2x)
Graeme Thomas (Agecroft RC / Preston) and John Collins (Leander Club / Twickenham)

Women’s four (W4-)
Rowan McKellar (Leander Club / Glasgow), Harriet Taylor (Sir William Perkins’ School / Sunningdale), Karen Bennett (Leander Club / Edinburgh) and Rebecca Shorten (Imperial College BC / Belfast)

Men’s four (M4-)
Oliver Cook (Univ. of London BC / Windsor), Matthew Rossiter (Leander Club/ Newbury), Rory Gibbs (Oxford Brookes University / Marlow) and Sholto Carnegie (Leander Club / Oxford)

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) and Lucy Glover (Edinburgh Univ BC / Warrington) and

Men’s quadruple sculls (M4x)
Harry Leask (Leander Club / Edinburgh), Angus Groom (Leander Club / Glasgow), Thomas Barras (Leander Club / Staines) and Jack Beaumont (Leander Club / Maidenhead)

Women’s eight (W8+)
Fiona Gammond (Leander Club / Bicester), Sara Parfett (University of London BC / Rochester), Rebecca Edwards (Leander Club / Aughnacloy), Chloe Brew (Leander Club / Plymouth), Katherine Douglas (Leander Club / Edinburgh), Caragh McMurtry (Southampton Coalporters ARC / Southampton), Rebecca Muzerie (Molesey BC / Fareham), Emily Ford (Leander Club / Holmes Chapel) and Matilda Horn (cox) (Univ. of London BC / Windsor)

Men’s eight (M8+)
Joshua Bugajski (Oxford Brookes Univ. BC / Stockport), Jacob Dawson (Leander Club / Plymouth), Thomas George (Leander Club / Cheltenham), Mohamed Sbihi (Molesey BC / Surbiton), Charles Elwes (Leander Club / Andover), Oliver Wynne-Griffith (Leander Club / Guildford), James Rudkin (Newcastle Univ. BC / Litchborough), Thomas Ford (Leander Club / Holmes Chapel) and Henry Fieldman (cox) (Leander Club / London)

Spare rowers
Madeleine Arlett (Edinburgh Univ. BC / Selkirk), Morgan Bolding (Oxford Brookes University / Withiel), Saskia Budgett (Tideway Scullers’ School / Acton) and Matthew Tarrant (Oxford Brookes Univ BC / Shepperton)

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