30 July 17:06 (BST)

Rowing champion THORNLEY (GBR) forced to withdraw from Glasgow 2018

GLASGOW - Reigning European women's single sculls champion Victoria THORNLEY (GBR) has withdrawn from the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, saying she is not at her "physical best".

THORNLEY has pulled out after a disappointing season in 2018. She failed to make the podium at world cup regattas in Belgrade and Linz and was knocked out of Henley Royal Regatta at the semifinal stage by Australia's Madeline EDMUNDS.

Her performances this year contrast sharply with 2017, when THORNLEY followed up her European title in Racice, Czech Republic, with silver at the world championships in Sarasota, Florida, in September.

THORNLEY moved into the single sculls after winning silver alongside Katherine GRAINGER (GBR) at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the women's double sculls. She won her first senior medal in 2010, taking gold at the first world cup regatta of 2010 in the women's eight.

THORNLEY said: "It's hugely disappointing not to be competing in Glasgow this week, not just because I won’t be able to defend my title, but it's also a rare opportunity to compete in front of a home crowd.

"Unfortunately, I'm not currently in a position to perform at my physical best at the European Championships. I have to look at the big picture, which means being able to race in peak condition at the world championships in September [in Plovdiv, Bulgaria]. I'll be cheering on my team-mates from home and look forward to pulling on my GB vest again soon."

THORNLEY's withdrawal means that there will be new European champions crowned in the men's and women's single sculls events this year. Ondrej SYNEK (CZE), who won the men's single sculls in Racice, has not entered Glasgow 2018.

The rowing competition at Glasgow 2018 gets underway on Thursday 2 August.

CNS jh/mb/tb