KATHERINE Grainger began her quest for that elusive Olympic gold medal with a new Olympic record at Dorney Lake this morning.

Alongside Anna Watkins, she won her heat by more than five seconds with a time of 6.44.33. New Zealand were second in a time of 6.49.44.

The British pair's time smashed the previous Olympic best set at the 1992 Barcelona Games by Germany.

And it was even more impressive given that they appeared to ease off in the final 500m before cruising across the line to the delight of the home crowd.

Grainger said: "I'm really pleased with our first event. You can hear the crowd but you feel it in your body, pulsing through you.

"We're very lucky to have this incredible support from around the country. It lifts you like nothing else.

"The plan for the next four days is feet up... not! We've got an adrenalin high now and we're both aware we can enjoy it for the next few hours, but we need to bring it back down.

"We'll head back to training and a dull lifestyle to get everything in place for Friday."


The final is scheduled for 10.20.