Grainger determined to take second gold in Rio

29 May 2015 / 10:54

She might have four Olympic medals to her name but Katherine Grainger is adamant that only a gold will make for a happy fifth in Rio next summer.

The 39-year-old took double sculls gold at London 2012 alongside Anna Watkins, but that triumph came after more than a decade of playing second fiddle.

Silver in the quadruple sculls in Sydney was followed by another runners-up spot in the coxless pair in Athens four years later.

In Beijing she once again had to glance up from the second step of the podium until the moment she had been waiting for arrived on home water at Eton Dorney.

And, after a two-year sabbatical, Grainger is back and as determined as ever to take Olympic gold in Brazil next year.

"I didn't come back to finish second. I've had years of that," she told BBC Sport.

"I was over the moon with Sydney, the second one I was still happy, but the third one was clearly quite devastating. I'm done with that.

"Silver isn't good enough for me. When you have won the Olympics you have different expectations that you have to live up to every day.

"I've learned in the hardest way there are no guarantees in sport. But I survived Beijing and I know I would survive again.

"I thought about it when I was making my decision but since then I haven't considered losing an option."

Before her return to the biggest stage there is the small matter of the European Championships in Poznan this weekend and the World Championships in France later in the year.

Grainger will go alongside Vicky Thornley in Poland and she says that she is battling to overcome the frustration of shaking off the cobwebs of a two-year break.

"My top scores are incredibly competitive but they're not PBs," she added. "On bad days that negative voice in your head says 'will you ever get back there?’

"Some days are tougher than I thought they would be because I'm physically not the athlete. But mentally I have the same standards and give myself a hard time if I don't meet them, even though I know realistically I can't after just a few months back. I was two or three years ago. Not yet.

"I want to take huge leaps and bounds but sometimes it's just small steps."

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