Rio 2016: Katherine Grainger & Vicky Thornley get Olympic places

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

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

The duo were not among the 43 rowers 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 was paired with Welsh rower Thornley and the duo won European bronze, then finished sixth at the World Championships to qualify the boat for Rio.

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European Rowing Championships: Katherine Grainger wins bronze

However, their failure to make the podium at this year's European Championships in May precipitated their abortive late attempt to force their way into the eight.

"The double was never written off," said Grainger. "We weren't happy with where we were competitively and there was still time to explore if there was a better option.

"I didn't take time out, then come back, to go to a fifth Olympics and just get a T-shirt. Vicky and myself both want a medal and we haven't lowered our sights."

Thornley's boyfriend - Olympic medallist Rick Egington - said the pair had been "mismanaged" by coach Paul Thompson, against whom bullying claims have been made.

Australian Thompson told the Daily Telegraph he does not feel he is a bully.

Grainger said now is not the time to dwell on that issue.

"After it's over, we'll have the chance to review things," she said. "But right now I don't want to waste any of these precious days thinking about what might have been done differently.

"The rest of my future can wait until the day after the Olympic final when I can put this part of my life to rest."

Fewer than 50 days to change fortunes

Grainger will be attempting to become Britain's most decorated female Olympian, but concedes winning a fifth medal is "the biggest challenge" of her career.

The final of the women's double is in fewer than 50 days and, in only their race since their partnership was resumed, the duo finished fifth at the World Cup in Poznan last weekend.

"There's not a lot of time left and there's nothing like Rio getting closer to sharpen the minds," Grainger said.

"There's a freshness and excitement because we can now concentrate on getting in the boat and trying to make it go faster."

Grainger's roll of honour
Olympic gold: London 2012 (double sculls)
Olympic silver: Sydney 2000 (quad sculls), Athens 2004 (coxless pair), Beijing 2008 (quad sculls)
World champion: double sculls 2010 & 2011; quad sculls 2005, 2006 & 2007; coxless pair 2003

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