Geraint Thomas FALLS in cycling road race, Yang Qian WINS first gold medal



Helen Glover’s hopes of a third straight Olympic title look dim after a disappointing opening to her Tokyo 2020 campaign.

Glover and new partner Polly Swann were expected to lay down a marker in their opening heat at the Sea Forest Waterway.

But instead the GB pair finished THIRD, behind not only Aussies Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre but also the Russian duo of Vasilisa Stepanova and Elena Oriabinskaia.

Glover and Swann were off the pace from the outset as the Australians took control from the start.

Yet after being second at the 500m mark, they were then overtaken by the Russians, who at one point were half a length clear.

A late burst allowed Glover and Swann to close the gap but they were still 2.23seconds behind the winners.

Even more worrying, the Australian time of 7:21.73 was more than three seconds slower than the first heat winners from Canada.

Glover, who took three years out of the sport Rio to start a family, slumped her head in the bow of the boat as she crossed the line.

She and Swann still qualified for Tuesday’s semi-finals but they are now facing a battle to even make the final, let alone win it.

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