KATHERINE Grainger says rowing at her fifth Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 is a ‘very serious possibility’.

The Marlow rowing legend, the most decorated female British rower in history, says she won’t make a decision yet but admits she is leaning towards competing.

Grainger will be 40 by the time of the Rio Games, but she was better than ever last summer and says that once she has completed her PhD in criminal law she will make her decision.

She said: “I owe it to the PhD to see it through. It's fantastic having the pressure of the PhD deadline because that takes up my energies, but once that's out of the way I may be able to decide.”

She has already resumed training but insists that even if she does decide to go for Rio she won’t compete at this year’s World Championships in August.

She said: “I wouldn't have been comfortable missing those months and then coming back late into this year's team.

“But I didn't want the door to shut while I was taking that time out. I'm not saying I'm definitely coming back – I am genuinely undecided – but it is a very serious possibility.”

Grainger first competed in the Olympics in Sydney in 2000, winning a silver medal in the quadruple sculls.

She won another silver in the coxless pairs in Athens in 2004 before returning from Beijing with yet another silver in the quadruple sculls.

Grainger admitted that medal felt like failure and she nearly quit after that, but after months of deliberation she eventually decided to row in London and completed the fairytale with her first gold medal alongside Anna Watkins in the womens’ doubles.

It appears she now has a taste for it.

GB Rowing's performance director Sir David Tanner said: “She is not fully committed yet, but has started doing some training again, and is looking towards rowing in Rio 2016.”