May 20 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 3, 2012
Olympic rowing: Grainger finally claims gold at the Games
Katherine Grainger’s quest for Olympic glory is over after she won a sensational gold medal with Anna Watkins in the women’s double scull.
After three successive silver medals and 12 years as an Olympic bridesmaid, Grainger finally tasted glory as she and Watkins destroyed the field to beat Australia by a length and add an Olympic crown to the two world titles they have won during two unbeaten years.
Grainger had been Britain’s first female Olympic rowing medallist, at Sydney in 2000. In 2006 she was awarded an MBE for services to rowing and four years ago became the first British female athlete to win medals at three successive Olympic Games.
But they were all silver and Grainger was so distraught at missing out in Beijing that, for four months, she considered whether to retire.
After coming together in 2010, Grainger and Watkins have now won 23 consecutive races. None of them as emotional as this as Grainger finally received the gold medal she craved.
“We absolutely knew we had all the goods to perform and we just did it,” Grainger said.
“It’s the satisfaction of a job well done.”
She told the BBC: “I feel this medal of all of them is the people’s medal. I feel so many people have been behind me and supported me and wanted this for me as much as I have.
“It’s off the back of everyone I’ve ever worked with, everyone I’ve ever rowed with, everyone who’s helped me going back to my family who were there from the beginning, to my friends at school, university.
“Every single person’s been a part of this and it makes the medal seem so much more special.”
Watkins, who won bronze in Beijing and was just as important a part of the victorious British crew as Grainger, said: “I just can’t believe it. I had to ask Katherine if it was a dream because I’d tried to keep my mind away from this moment.
“It just doesn’t seem real. We’ve had so many successful races and this was just another race but then it was the right one.
“I can’t quite believe we’ve got to this point.”
Earlier there was bronze for the British men’s pair of George Nash and William Satch and the same coloured medal for Northern Ireland’s Alan Campbell in the single scull.