1 August 19:29 (BST)

Rower FREDH (SWE) makes rapid return to defend title

GLASGOW - Defending European champion Emma FREDH (SWE) decided to take a year off from rowing but her sabbatical lasted just four months.

After winning the European lightweight single sculls gold medal in Racice in the Czech Republic a year ago, FREDH wanted a break from competitive sport to concentrate on her studies in human resources but the lure of rowing forced a quick change of mind.

"My plan was to take a break for the whole year. I was a little bit tired and I wanted to focus on other things," she said. "But I missed it a lot. I was training a little but not 100 per cent. It was only four months but now I'm fully focused on rowing again.

"I think it was good for me to refresh my mind and body. At the start of my comeback it wasn't so good but I am making progress every week."

FREDH is making no bold predictions about a successful defence of her title. "We will see. I'm in good shape. My training is going well. You have to do it when it counts and I'm here."

The rowing competition starts at Strathclyde Country Park on Thursday 2 August.

CNS dh/mr