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Olympic rowing: Briton Grainger ends long wait for gold

updated 11:02 AM EDT, Fri August 3, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Katherine Grainger wins first gold after claiming silver in previous three Olympics
  • Eric Murray and Hamish Bond power to victory in men's pairs for New Zealand
  • Fellow Kiwi Mahe Drysdale clinches gold in men's single sculls
  • Germany ease to victory in men's quadruple sculls from Croatia and Australia

(CNN) -- British rower Katherine Grainger ended her 12-year wait for Olympic glory after winning gold in the women's double sculls on Friday.

The 36-year-old Scot, partnered by Anna Watkins, punched the air in delight after exorcising the demons of Sydney, Athens and Beijing.

Grainger, who had suffered the agony of being made to settle for silver twice in quadruple sculls and once in the coxless pair, had targeted London 2012 as her final chance of success on the big stage.

"I am a bride at last," she told reporters. "I did seriously consider what I would do after Beijing. For anyone who was there, Beijing was a really tough result and I wanted to make sure I continued for the right reasons.

Left to right: Denmark's Lasse Norman Hansen, Michael Morkov, Rasmus Christian Quaade and Casper von Flosach prepare to compete in the men's team pursuit track cycling event on Friday, August 3. Check out Day 6 of competition from Thursday, August 2. Left to right: Denmark's Lasse Norman Hansen, Michael Morkov, Rasmus Christian Quaade and Casper von Flosach prepare to compete in the men's team pursuit track cycling event on Friday, August 3. Check out Day 6 of competition from Thursday, August 2.
Day 7: The best photos of the Olympics
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Mohamed Sbihi -- nicknamed Moe -- was born near London and is of Moroccan descent. He was discovered by the British team's talent identification programme while at school in 2003. Mohamed Sbihi -- nicknamed Moe -- was born near London and is of Moroccan descent. He was discovered by the British team's talent identification programme while at school in 2003.
Moe goes for gold
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British rower\'s Olympic dilemma British rower's Olympic dilemma
Human to Hero: Matthew Pinsent
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"As soon as I made the decision, there was never a doubt. I have had three fantastic years."

The British duo were huge favorites for the race and did not disappoint, powering their way to an incredible 23rd consecutive victory.

Watkins, who won a bronze in Beijing in 2008, teamed up with Grainger just two years ago.

Since then, the British team have been unbeatable, winning two World Championship titles as well as all three World Cups in 2012.

"Just before halfway I knew we had won it," said 29-year-old Watkins.

"With the crowd there was no way anything was going to go wrong. We had time to enjoy it, which is more than you can dream of."

Their success makes them just the third and fourth British women to win rowing gold at any Olympics, following Thursday's triumph by Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the women's pair.

Wiggins makes history as Britain wins first golds at London 2012

Kim Crowe and Brooke Pratley took silver for Australia with Poland's Magdalena Fularczyk and Julia Michalska grabbing bronze.

Meanwhile, New Zealand enjoyed a glorious day on the water at Eton Dorney after claiming gold in both the men's pair and single sculls.

New Zealand duo Eric Murray and Hamish Bond maintained their three-year unbeaten record after tearing through the field.

London Fan Zone packed for Olympic start
UK stamps celebrate gold

France's Germain Chardin and Dorian Mortelette claimed silver with British duo George Nash and Will Satch taking bronze.

New Zealand's Beijing bronze medalist Mahe Drysdale triumphed in the men's single sculls after coming home ahead of the Czech Republic's 2008 runnerup Ondrej Synek and Great Britain's Alan Campbell.

Defending champion Olaf Tufte of Norway could only manage third in the "B" final.

In the men's quadruple sculls final, world champions Australia were forced to settle for bronze with Germany taking the Olympic title ahead of Croatia.

The German crew of Karl Schulze, Lauritz Schoof, Phillipp Wende and Tim Grohmann led from start to finish to win in a time of 5 minutes, 42.48 seconds.

Poland, who won the 2008 gold, finished last.

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