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Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Grainger to row on in gold hunt

Katherin Grainger cries on the podium in Beijing
Grainger was distraught at being pushed into silver in Beijing

Katherine Grainger has announced she will keep rowing until London 2012 in the hope of adding a gold medal to the silvers won at the last three Olympics.

In Beijing, the 33-year-old became the only British woman in any sport to have won medals in three successive Games.

But she and crew-mates Annie Vernon, Debbie Flood and Frances Houghton were distraught at being beaten by China.

Grainger told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I'm not going to experience the Olympics. It's about getting the best result."

Grainger was one of the first British women ever to win an Olympic rowing medal, in a quadruple scull in 2000.

She has had her sights on gold ever since but came up short in a pair with Cath Bishop in Athens four years later then back in the quad in Beijing.

"I've have been incredibly lucky to be in fantastic boats at the last three Olympics and get fantastic results," added Grainger.

"I knew I could only do it again, realistically, if I was at the peak of my abilities.

"It's not a decision I've taken lightly. One of the people I talked to was the head doctor and physio to see if physically it was possible but everyone's come back very positive and the level I need to be at is very achievable.

BBC Sport's Martin Gough

"I did look at different options. I'm still studying my PhD and I had a few different avenues that I was looking into, but, like a lot of successful athletes, you have this incredible drive and you want to channel that in the right direction."

On Wednesday, Grainger became just the third active international rower, after Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, to be elected a Steward at the Henley Royal Regatta.

She will rejoin the GB squad to take part in winter trials leading up to the start of the World Cup season in Barcelona at the end of May, with the World Championships in Poland at the end of August.

GB Rowing performance director David Tanner welcomed the news, saying: "It is great that Katherine has decided to continue.

"She is our leading female rower and I am confident that she can both deliver for herself and be an inspiration to less experienced athletes on the Olympic pathway."

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see also
Grainger likely to aim for 2012
23 Nov 08 |  Olympics
Brits to watch: Katherine Grainger
04 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
Reed aims for London rowing gold
06 Nov 08 |  Olympics
GB stars back in action on Thames
09 Nov 08 |  Olympics

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