Helen Glover misses out on Tokyo gold with rowing partner Polly Swann - and rules out Olympics return
Comeback rower Helen Glover finished in fourth place with Polly Swann in the Olympic women’s pairs final - as she announced it would be her last games.
Glover could not quite claim another medal as she and Swann trailed in winners New Zealand, the Russian Olympic Committee and third-placed Canada.
Glover, the dual Olympic champion chasing glory at a third straight games after almost four years off to start a family, said she was proud but keen to return home after missing out on a rowing medal.
Glover told reporters she and Swann had given their all but were left with a mix of pride and frustration.
“The reward is knowing we crossed the line giving it our all, the frustration will be coming away thinking we had more and we didn’t,” she said.
“Had it been a flat water day we would have expected to come through for that last place but it wasn’t.
“It was very hard to challenge in the final sprint but we still tried.”
Glover also confirmed, as expected, this would be her last Olympics.
“In Rio I said it was my last one,” she told reporters. “This time I’m saying that it definitely is and everyone around me keeps saying ‘No, no, you’ll be back doing the single!’
“I definitely don’t see myself doing the single. That’s definitely not in the pipeline.”
Glover also sent an emotional message to her children. She and her husband, broadcaster and adventurer Steve Backshall, are parents to three-year-old Logan and one-year-old twins Kit and Willow.
She told BBC Sport: “I love them so much, they’ve been my inspiration.
"I never saw myself getting back in a rowing boat until they came along. You can do anything you want to do."
UK Sport praised Glover and 33-year-old Swann, who has mixed training with working as an NHS doctor during the coronavirus pandemic – saying both were inspirations.
“Helen Glover makes history as the first mum to row for TeamGB with Polly Swann who juggled training with working as an NHS junior doctor during the pandemic,” the organisation tweeted.
“Neither woman needs a medal to prove they are superhuman and inspire the world.”