Team GB duo Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins shatter Olympic record

 

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins have moved a step closer to winning a gold medal after setting a new Olympic best time while they qualified for the final of the women's double scull.

The Great Britain pair are unbeaten in three years and their time of 6min 44.33sec knocked more than five seconds off the previous Olympic best as they comfortably booked their place in Thursday’s semi-final.

Grainger won silver medals in Sydney, Athens and Beijing and, at 36, she finally hopes to reach the top step of the podium in London.Australia won their heat to qualify but they were four seconds slower than the British pair.

Greg Searle’s aim to win a third Olympic medal, 20 years after he won gold in the coxed pair in Barcelona, is also on track after Great Britain held off Olympic champions Canada to move into the final of the men’s eight. The British crew established an early lead which they never lost, resisting the assaults of the boats behind them.

Searle also won a bronze medal at the 1996 Games before quitting the sport in 2001 but the prospect of competing at an Olympic Games on home water tempted him back.

In the men’s eight, Alex Partridge, Matthew Langridge and Richard Egington all have Olympic experience, while Tom Ransley, Mohamed Sbihi, James Foad and Constantine Louloudis are attending their first Games.

Britain and Canada will be joined in Wednesday’s final by the Netherlands and Australia. Germany and the United States qualified for the decisive race automatically by winning their heats.

Great Britain’s women’s quadruple sculls reached their final, also on Wednesday, but not without a scare in their repechage this morning.

At 1,000m the British quartet of Melanie Wilson, Debbie Flood, Frances Houghton and Beth Rodford were last of the six boats but they regained their form in the second half of the race to ensure they advanced to the final behind Australia and United States.

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss