AS three-time Olympic gold medallist Pete Reed retires from international rowing, Oxford Blues continue to feature in the Great Britain final trials, writes John Wiggins.

The 36-year-old, who was awarded an OBE after his Rio success, has not been able to return sufficiently to form after a hip operation.

But he leaves behind a lasting legacy, including two Boat Race wins for Oxford University.

Another Blue, Felix Drinkall, followed in the footsteps of Olympians Stan Louloudis and Sir Matthew Pinsent, who also featured significantly in their first senior GB trials after stellar junior rowing careers.

Rowing with Ollie Cook, the pair won their semi-final, but were edged out by Matt Tarrant and Alan Sinclair in the final – Tarrant one of 18 competitors wearing Oxford Brookes colours.

Oxford University’s Josh Bugajski and James Rudkin were back in third.

Oxford’s female Blues also made a significant impression, with Rio gold medallist Zoe Lee returning to top form after a year out with knee surgery, finishing third in the single sculls.

Anastasia Chitty won her pairs semi-final, before taking second spot in the final. Former Headington School pupil, Fiona Gammond was third.

With loyalty still to Oxford Brookes and formerly, Abingdon School, Jamie Copus continues as the lead lightweight sculler.

In a well-paced race he took the lead only in the last 500m of the 2000m course to win by less than two seconds.

Other ex-Abingdon School pupils George Rossiter and Tim Clarke were fifth and sixth respectively in the men’s pairs.

The lightweight women’s event continues to feature Wallingford members, but with a changing of the guard.

In a final that saw all six scullers overlapping, Ellie Lewis came second and Gemma Hall fourth.

Eli Piggott was second in the B final behind former Headington pupil Danni Semple.