ROWING: Houghton thrilled by convincing victory

The Oxford Times: Frances Houghton won by a commanding eight seconds Frances Houghton won by a commanding eight seconds

Frances Houghton, from Wheatley, with four Olympic appearances and two silver medals behind her, shows little sign of easing up, writes Mike Rosewell.

Houghton won the women’s open singles by eight seconds in Britain’s second winter assessment trials at Boston, Lincolnshire.

It was one of the biggest margins of the day on the 5,000 metre course, where close races were the norm.

She said: “At the end I had zero left. I have been working really, really hard and to see my name at the top of the results is fantastic.”

Chief coach Jurgen Grobler mixed and matched the selection of the pairs between established stars and newer faces.

One of the latter, Matt Tarrant from Oxford Brookes, a world under 23 medallist, took advantage of racing with world and Olympic champion Alex Gregory and won the class.

Tarrant’s Oxford Brookes clubmate Scott Durant was in second place, partnered by Molesey’s world champion and Olympic medallist Mo Sbihi.

Third came the Oxford University duo of Constantine Louloudis – an Olympic medallist – and Karl Hudspith.

Peter Chambers from Oxford Brookes, with world bronze and Olympic silver behind him, took the men’s lightweight singles, following in the footsteps of his elder brother Richard Chambers, winner in 2011.

Meanwhile, Oxford’s Boat Race trials, scheduled for yesterday, were postponed due to illness.

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