By Mike Rowbottom

Heather Stanning (right) and Helen Glover celebrate gold at London 2012 ©Getty ImagesApril 19 - London 2012 champions Heather Stanning and Kat Copeland restated their case for a return to elite selection after taking a year out of competition with winning performances in the final GB Rowing trials on the Redgrave-Pinsent Lake at Caversham.

Stanning resumed her partnership in the women's pair with Helen Glover, with whom she won gold in London, and they narrowly defeated Polly Swann - who partnered Glover to a world title last year - and another Olympian, Jess Eddie.

"It was really brilliant to be back racing with Helen, it feels like I'm in old shoes again", said Stanning.

Glover commented on the selection decisions ahead of next month's European Championships in Belgrade. 

She said: "All we can do is win the Trials and I'm sure the coaches will be talking, it's in their hands, which is a nice feeling as you never want to be in a position choosing between friends."

Copeland, who took Olympic gold with Sophie Hosking in the women's lightweight double sculls, returned to winning ways in the single scull final, where she finished ahead of Imogen Walsh after establishing an early lead.

Copeland said:  "It's pretty windy today and it's pretty slow but it was exciting, I really enjoyed it.

"I think what's really exciting for me is that there's a group of really good girls at the top which means that we're going to have a really strong double, which is what matters."

Alex Gregory, pictured far right in the men's four which won gold at London 2012, won the final trials in partnership with Moe Sbihi, and ahead of the pairing of George Nash and Andy Triggs Hodge (pictured far left) ©Getty ImagesAlex Gregory, pictured far right in the men's four which took gold at London 2012, won the GB final trials in partnership with Moe Sbihi, and ahead of the pairing of George Nash and Andy Triggs Hodge (pictured far left) ©Getty Images

Bragging rights in the men's pair went to Moe Sbihi and Alex Gregory, who earned victory by inches over double Olympic champion Andy Triggs Hodge and Olympic bronze medallist George Nash.

But the day did not so well for three other male rowers|who reached the medal podium in London - Pete Reed, Constantine Louloudis and Alan Campbell.

Reed had to pull out of the men's pairs final with a bronchial complaint, and Louloudis failed to finish in the single sculls B final.

Campbell, bronze medallist in the single scull, was disqualified from the final after earning two yellow cards for arriving late and then making a false start, although he was allowed to row.

He eventually finished third in a race won by his major rival, Charles Cousins, although  Agecroft's Graeme Thomas was the surprise package with an explosive start, before leading the race until the final 250m and holding on for second place.

Vicky Thornley, the former model and skilled show-jumper who came into the sport through "Start" and, like Glover and Stanning, learnt to row at the University of Bath, won the open women's single scull title by almost seven seconds ahead of Frances Houghton.

Thornley said: "I thought I would have a bit more of a race on my hands.

"I went into it confident in my ability and how I was going, but I was quite surprised at the distance I won by so I'm really pleased with it".

Other new names emerged to take honours in the lightweight men's single scull. Jamie Kirkwood, of Leander, won with a strong second-half performance in lane one. 

Behind him Will Fletcher battled impressively to beat Olympic silver medallist Peter Chambers by an eventually large margin after a close first half.

"We should congratulate all the rowers on such strong performances today and for stepping up to race three times in difficult conditions", said Sir David Tanner, the GB Rowing Team performance director.

"They produced some great racing and we are now in a good place for the next few weeks as we look at refining selections for the European Championships."

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