Rowing

Alchemist Anna Watkins helps turn Katherine Grainger's silver into

ABSOLUTELY the first imperative is that everyone remembers to look upon this beaming, beatific champion and say: “Jolly well done, Anna Watkins!” It is her alchemy, after all, that has finally turned silver into gold. And it was instructive of the charm that has compounded Katherine Grainger’s status, as darling of this regatta, that the glory they shared here yesterday was as much a matter of parity as synchronicity. Reciprocally, however, Watkins will understand if Grainger, having at last requited a 12-year craving, is widely saluted as first among equals.

Kindred spirits crave gold after Grainger's silver pain

As befits an island race, the British are vesting their biggest hopes for their home Olympics in the water. Visiting opponents will find rowing and sailing, much the biggest vessels for Lottery revenue, resourced on a quite frightening scale – and that applies, in the former case, as much to muscle and sinew as funds and infrastructure.