Polly Swann and Helen Glover
Polly Swann (right) and Helen Glover previously won world gold together in 2013

Double Olympic champion Helen Glover won gold in her first competition for five years as she triumphed with Polly Swann in the women’s pair at the European Rowing Championships in Italy.

The British duo held off Romania to win in seven minutes 2.73 seconds.

It was 34-year-old Glover’s first meeting since the 2016 Olympics in Rio, where she won gold.

She is bidding to become the first woman to make the British Olympic rowing team after having children.

Glover – who also won gold in London in 2012 – has had three children, including twins Kit and Bo, since her victory in Rio.

She decided to make a comeback after spending time on a rowing machine during the first national coronavirus lockdown in 2020.

Swann, 32, who won Olympic silver in the women’s eight in 2016, worked as an interim foundation year doctor when the pandemic delayed the Tokyo Games by a year.

“It’s been a long winter but just to come out with Helen to race feels pretty epic,” Swann said.

“I don’t think we expected to win.”

The duo won world championship gold together in 2013 and a European title a year later.

They qualified fastest for Sunday’s final and were able to resist a late challenge from Romania to take the title.

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