Heather

May 12, 2014 (ISN) – Olympic gold medallist Heather Stanning has been ruled out of the European Rowing Championships in Belgrade later this month following medical advice.

The 29-year-old secured Great Britain’s first gold medal at London 2012 in the women’s coxless pairs, alongside Helen Glover.

However, Stanning only returned to training last November with the GB Rowing Team squad after a post-Olympic year spent on active duty with the British Army including a tour of Afghanistan.

Reunited with Glover, who partnered Polly Swann to World Championship gold in Chungju, South Korea, last year, the duo rowed to victory in last month’s GB Rowing Team Senior Trials.

Despite the victory, Stanning has shown some signs of fatigue in training over recent weeks, leading the GB selectors to withdraw the athlete from the Belgrade selection process and to drop back her training load.

“We have decided to take the pressure off, knock back her training and we think that will open the opportunity for a swift return to top form”, said Sir David Tanner, GB Rowing Team performance director.

“We are sure that Heather will be back on song soon.

“We will now consider our options in terms of the open women’s squad before finalising the selections for Belgrade”.

Heather Stanning returned to partner Helen Glover in last month's GB Rowing Team Senior Trials for the first time since winning gold at London 2012 ©Getty Images
Heather Stanning returned to partner Helen Glover in last month’s GB Rowing Team Senior Trials for the first time since winning gold at London 2012 ©Getty Images

While disappointed, Stanning insists it is important for her to find top form again in order to regain her intensity at the “top end of the percentages”.

“I am clearly disappointed not to be travelling with the team to Belgrade for the Europeans and I wish everyone luck out there,” she added,

“I am still training and will focus on the programme I’ve been set to regain intensity at the very top end of the percentages.”

The European Rowing Championships are due to take place in Belgrade, Serbia from May 30 to June 1 with the GB squad set to be announced on Wednesday (May 14).

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