• London 2012 - Swimming

Grainger & Watkins bag brilliant rowing gold

ESPN staff
August 3, 2012
Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins © PA Photos

Katherine Grainger capped a brilliant Olympic career by combining with Anna Watkins to take gold in the women's double sculls.

Medal Table

Grainger suffered agonies in previous Olympics, on three occasions she has had to settle for silver on three occasions, but in her final Games - on home soil at Eton Dorney - she went one better to claim a brilliant gold.

The British pair came into the race as favourites and they set out with confidence. They were ahead early but took the Australian crew with them.

Grainger and Watkins kept their tempo solid and by the halfway mark they were ahead by two-thirds of a boat. So often they have come back strong in their races and the Australians found the power of Grainger and Watkins too strong in the middle third.

They had clear water as they entered the stands area, at which point the GB roars went out all over the lake.

To their credit, Australia pair Kim Crow and Brooke Pratley raised their tempo and began to close. But the GB pair had the race in control and crossed to the line in a time of 6:55.82 to a huge roar of celebration.

"It was worth the wait," Grainger said. "Steve Redgrave promised me there would be tears of joy this time and they are. For both of us we knew we had the goods to perform and it was about delivering."

Alan Campbell could not deal with the power of New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale who claimed gold in the single sculls, but he capped a fine Olympic games by taking a gritty bronze. Drysdale was pressed hard by Ondrej Synek for much of the race but he powered away in the final 500m and came home in a time of 6:57.82.

GB pair George Nashand William Satch secured a gallant bronze in the men's pair. They were no match for New Zealand duo Eric Murray and Hamish Bond who were a class apart, but they worked all the way and were only just denied a silver by France.

Britain's first appearance in an Olympic final of the men's quadruple sculls ended in disappointment as Stephen Rowbotham, Charles Cousins, Tom Solesbury and Matt Wells finished in fifth behind Germany who were all power in claiming gold. The British quartet went out strong and matched Germany for 500 metres, but they paid for taking on such a strong team took its toll as they faded into fifth at the finish.

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