Glory for Grainger & Watkins
British duo emerge triumphant in final of women's double sculls
Last Updated: 03/08/12 7:17pm
Katherine Grainger (L) and Anna Watkins (R) celebrate after collecting their gold medals
Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins won Britain's second rowing gold with victory in the women's double sculls.
The British duo held off a determined challenge from Australia to finish a length ahead of their rivals with Poland coming home a distant third to take bronze.
The victory was especially sweet for Grainger who had to settle for silver at the past three Olympic Games.
Britain's women are leading the way at Eton Dorney, with Grainger and Watkins following the women's pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning into the winners' circle.
Grainger provided the image of the day, and potentially the image of the Games, punching the air as Britain crossed the line.
She fell into an embrace with Watkins and acknowledged the support of the 30,000 crowd after finally tasting victory at an Olympics.
Grainger had been Britain's first female Olympic medallist, at Sydney in 2000. In 2006 she was awarded an MBE for services to rowing and four years ago Grainger 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.
But her decision to carry on was richly rewarded on Friday and she and Watkins, a bronze medallist from Beijing, did not just win - they stormed to victory, as they have done for most of the last two years.
After coming together in 2010, Grainger and Watkins have now won 23 consecutive races.
But none of them were as emotional as this as Grainger finally received the gold medal she craved.