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Charles Cousins makes strong start in Great Britain comeback bid

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First assessment success in Boston

Charles Cousins made an impressive start to his bid to return to the Great Britain rowing squad.

The 29-year-old Cambridge-based sculler had back surgery in 2016, ruling him out of the Rio Olympics.

He made a comeback at Henley Royal Regatta this summer, and last month won the prestigious Wingfield Sculls, with his long-term aim to make it back into the GB set-up to earn qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The road started this weekend in the first GB Rowing Team assessment of the 2019 season.

Cousins, a world championship silver medallist in the quad, stormed to victory in the men’s single sculls, winning by 30 seconds. He clocked 18min 26.48sec to beat Nottingham RC’s Matt Haywood, the world under-23 champion, who timed 18.56.56, with another returnee, Pete Lambert, in third.

Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club’s Pippa Whittaker and Patricia Smith earned first place in the women’s pair.

They timed 20.44.77 to beat Leander’s Susannah Dear and Natasha Harris-White by nearly two seconds.

The second GB Rowing Team winter assessment takes place at the National Training Centre in Caversham on 15 December and is by invitation only. A third assessment is held at Boston on February 9.

The senior and under-23 trials are at Caversham on April 20 and 21.

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