August 13, 2016 6:20:29 am
After five years and 39 races unbeaten, British rowing pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning probably didn’t need to win a second Olympic gold medal to confirm their reputation as the most fearsome duo in their sport.
But they did. And they are.
Their latest triumph caps a long line of achievements which has also seen them win Olympic gold in 2012 as well as European and world championships.
On Friday they swatted down the competition, winning in 7:18.29, 1.24 seconds ahead of second-placed New Zealand, while Denmark took bronze.
Glover, 30, called defending her 2012 gold medal title “really special” and said the feeling of winning again was even more intense than triumphing at home in the London Games.
“The first time we did it, it took a long time to realise we’re Olympic champions,” Glover said in a post-race press conference. “, we crossed the line and felt like Olympic champions. In London, we crossed the line and six months later we felt like Olympic champions.”
After taking gold at Rio’s Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Glover and Stanning, 31,
heaped praise on coach Robin Williams, with Glover calling him “the third member in the pair.”
“His passion got us an Olympic gold,” Glover said. “It’s three of us, but it’s him. We couldn’t have done it without him.”
Both women said they have yet to decide their future in the sport.
“At the moment, we want to enjoy what we’ve done today and then take stock away from this environment,” said Stanning, whose immediate plans include returning to the armed forces, where she will attend staff college.
Stanning, a Major in the Royal Artillery, completed a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2013.
Glover, meanwhile, has enlisted Stanning as a maid of honor in another pairs event: her wedding.
She and TV naturalist Steve Backshall will wed in three weeks, at home in Cornwall, England.
Stanning is busy cooking up ideas for the hen party – ideas she declined to disclose to the media.
“We are great friends outside of the boat as well,” Glover said. “Even when we’re not rowing together every day, we will most likely speak to each other a lot.”
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