Glover and Stanning to defend Olympic rowing title in Rio after Team GB selection

10 June 2016

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning will get the chance to defend their Olympic title after being named in the Team GB rowing squad for the Rio 2016 Games.

Sports Technology graduate Stanning and Glover – who both started their rowing careers at the University of Bath – will once again contest the women’s pair, the event in which they are reigning Olympic, World and European Champions.

“There is a great sense of pride that comes along with Olympic selection,” said Glover. “Heather and I have been working alongside our coach, Robin Williams, with Rio firmly in our sights.

“When we are at the Olympics in two months time we hope to put in a performance that reflects the hard work of the last four years since London 2012. I feel ready and excited that it is time to compete at the highest level.”

Stanning first took up rowing with the University of Bath Boat Club when she started a Sports Technology degree in 2003 before being invited to join the GB Rowing Team Start programme by then coach Paul Stannard in 2005.

Glover joined the programme in 2008 after being identified as a potential Olympian through UK Sport’s Sporting Giants scheme. She and Stanning were first paired together in December of that year for a regional regatta in Gloucester but, within two years, had broken into the senior GB Rowing Team and won silver at the World Championships.

They are unbeaten as a pairing since the 2011 World Championships, where they also won silver, and were the first British women rowers to win an Olympic gold medal when they triumphed at London 2012 – it was also Team GB’s first gold of the home Games.

Vicky Thornley, who also came through the Bath Start programme, remains in contention to compete at a second Olympic Games. She was unsuccessful in testing for the women’s eight but, along with reigning Olympic champion Katherine Grainger, is now back in trials for the women’s double scull – that crew will be confirmed at a later date.

Stanning and Glover are the latest athletes with University of Bath connections to be formally selected for Rio 2016.

Swimmers Jazz Carlin, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Chris Walker-Hebborn and Andrew Willis – who all train with the British Swimming National Centre Bath at the Sports Training Village – have been selected for the Olympics.

Pentathlon GB’s Joe Choong, Jamie Cooke, Kate French and Samantha Murray will represent Britain in the modern pentathlon.

Natural Sciences graduate and sailor Alexandra Rickham has been selected to race in the SKUD 18 class with Niki Birrell at the Paralympic Games. The five-time World Champions won a bronze medal at London 2012.

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