Women’s Boat of 2012

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Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins won world recognition in Ireland on Saturday for their stunning victory in the Women’s double scull at the London Olympics when FISA, the World Governing Body for Rowing, awarded them the accolade of ‘Women’s boat of 2012’ .

Watkins was at the awards dinner in Limerick to receive the award on behalf of her and Grainger.

“I’m thrilled to receive this award on behalf of Katherine and myself after such a fantastic Olympics in London,” said the 29-year-old from Leek in Staffordshire, who came through the GB Rowing Team’s START talent and identification programme.

“It recognises the crew as a whole and for us that very much means our coach Paul Thompson too. We’re very honoured, there were some stunning crews this summer.”

Watkins and Grainger came together in the double scull in 2010 and won World Championships titles in 2010 and 2011 before winning gold in London to become Olympic Champions.

Grainger, 37 next week, was giving a motivational talk to students in her home town of Glasgow while her crew-mate picked up the award. The six times World Champion and three-times Olympic silver medallist before London 2012 said: “I honestly didn’t think this year could get any better. But winning the FISA crew of the year has just added an extra layer of happiness to an already dream come true summer.

“The award is far bigger than just Anna and I though, it represents all the wonderful people who have been part of this sensational journey with us and I hope this gives them yet another reason to celebrate 2012.”

David Tanner, GB Rowing Team Performance Director, who oversaw Team GB’s best-ever Olympic rowing regatta, added: “This accolade was a great tribute to one of the best women’s crews of all time and it’s great that FISA has recognised their achievement at the London Games.

“With our Women’s gold-medal pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning also on the short list of three for the awards, it shows the exceptional overall performance of our women’s boats at the Olympics.

“And it was tremendous that the final award of the evening, for lifetime service to the sport of rowing, went to Di Ellis, British Rowing Chairman since 1989.”

See the full list of the award winners on the World Rowing website here: http://www.worldrowing.com/news/2012-world-rowing-awards-winners-announced

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