Rio 2016: Final flourish awaits Vicky Thornley and Katherine Grainger after ‘best row yet’

09 August 2016

Former University of Bath-based rower Vicky Thornley will contest her second Olympic final on Thursday after she and Katherine Grainger produced their best performance yet in the women’s double scull in Tuesday’s Rio 2016 semi-finals.

After a difficult season in which their partnership was dissolved then reformed after they failed to secure a place in the women’s eight, Thornley and defending champion Grainger looked in impressive form for Team GB as they secured a strong second spot behind Poland.

And with New Zealand and Australia both missing out on a top-three place, Thursday’s final – scheduled for 2.04pm BST – now looks wide open.

“It’s all to play for,” said Thornley, who learnt to row on the GB Rowing Team Start programme at the Sports Training Village and Minerva Bath RC.

“We haven’t shown everything yet and we can definitely improve on that race. We’re in the final and that’s all that matters.

“I think it was probably our best performance [as a double] – there’s a lot of pressure in a semi-final but we rowed probably the most cohesive we have under pressure.

“Good recovery now, then bring on Thursday!”

Thornley competed in the women’s eight final at London 2012, finishing fifth, while Grainger won the double scull title – her fourth medal at as many Games – with Anna Watkins.

Defending women’s pair champions Helen Glover and Sports Technology graduate Heather Stanning, who also came through the Bath Start programme, will race in their semi-final at 12.30pm BST on Wednesday.

Click here to find out more about the GB Rowing Team Start programme at the University of Bath

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