Rowing: Golden Grainger puts Britain first
Great Britain finished the World Championships on top of the medal table after Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins secured a fifth gold in the women's double sculls on New Zealand's Lake Karapiro yesterday.
It was fitting that it was Grainger, Britain's most successful female oarswoman, who should win the crucial gold as she made it five world titles in a distinguished career.
Marcus Bateman and Matt Wells in the men's double sculls and the men's eight had to settle for silver when both could have won gold while the women's eight were disappointed only to finish fourth.
Grainger's first world title came in the women's pair in 2003 and she was part of the quadruple sculls crew that won gold for three years in a row between 2005 and 2007.
The 34-year-old said: "Every one is very special and very individual. I'm hugely proud of this one, this is the most successful season I've ever had, so it just keeps getting better."
Grainger and Watkins first tried the double in January and it has been an instant success, with three World Cup wins earlier this season positioning them as the clear favourites for gold. And they never looked like faltering as they took an early lead and then extended it all the way to the finish to leave Australia and Poland to battle it out for silver and bronze.
Grainger continued: "It's always an honour to come in as favourites, it shows we've had a successful season. We always felt there were going to be some surprises within the field so we didn't come into it complacent."
Watkins was thrilled to be able to enjoy the moment of securing her first senior world title rather than having to scrap for the line.
The 27-year-old said: "We know we've got a strong start and haven't, in any race up until now, shown what we can do through the middle. We got into our rhythm and just felt in control. It was so enjoyable, you can't help but row your best when you're enjoying racing as much as that."
The men's eight put in a tremendous performance in the final race of the regatta and were closing in on defending champions Germany with every stroke as the line approached. However, it was not quite enough, with the Germans winning by less than a second.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Emirates was the easy option for Mesut Ozil. He needs a leader - and Arsenal don't have them
Ronaldinho dream XI: John Terry, Frank Lampard and Claude Makelele are in as former Barcelona superstar names ideal side
Police want right of veto over 'high risk' Friday night fixtures in wake of new Premier League TV deal
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Cristiano Ronaldo shows off his dance moves, including the moonwalk
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Bad Jews poster 'censored' on London Tube
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...
£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...