Rio Countdown: Grainger’s Fifth Olympic Campaign

Olympic champion Katherine Grainger feels like “the lights have come back on” after being belatedly named in the Great Britain rowing team for Rio.

Katherine GraingerPhoto: Peter Spurrier

Grainger, 40, and Vicky Thornley, 28, will compete in the double in Brazil in August, having been unsuccessful in a late attempt to earn a place in the eight.

The duo were not among the 43 rowers initially named in the Team GB squad on 9 June.

“It’s not been the smoothest or most direct route but it’s a relief that we’re there,” Grainger told BBC Sport.

“There have been days when I couldn’t necessarily see a way forward and times when I couldn’t see the path but I never stopped believing I could get there. The double was never written off”.

Grainger, who won gold in the double in London with Anna Watkins after three consecutive silver medals, returned in September 2014 following a two-year sabbatical.

The Scot is paired with Welsh rower Thornley and the duo won European bronze, then finished sixth at the World Championships to qualify the boat for Rio.

BBC Sport – By Richard Winton