Rower Anna Watkins says London 2012 is an 'amazing opportunity'

Team GB rower Anna Watkins believes London 2012 represents an "amazing opportunity" for her and double sculls team-mate Katherine Grainger.

World champions Watkins and Grainger are among Great Britain's strongest contenders for a gold medal.

"Kath and I are the least nervous and most excited of the people we've talked to," Watkins told BBC Midlands Today.

"That's probably because we've got control of the situation while everyone else has to watch nervously."

The 29-year-old, from Leek in Staffordshire, said she and Grainger - who has won a silver medal at each of the last three Games - feel they have a gold medal-winning performance within them.

"We've got to get it out, we've got to focus on the right things on the water and make sure we're relaxed all the way through it - there's such a natural enjoyment of our rowing together, and we have to make sure that sees us through.

"We can't be crippled by fear, we've just got to go for it."

Since the pair began rowing together in 2010 they have yet to be beaten and Watkins believes they have built up a strong partnership.

"As the time we've spent together in the double scull has gone on we've become closer and closer friends off the water as well, so it's a really special relationship, like a sister," she added.

Watkins says she is looking forward to the middle and latter part of the races in particular.

"At the start you're concentrating on yourselves, but as the race goes on I get to look around and see what the other boats are doing and really race woman to woman - that's where the fun is."

While much of the attention is likely to be on Grainger as the Scot bids to make it fourth time lucky, Watkins is happy to acknowledge her team-mate's importance to the sport.

"Women's rowing in the UK absolutely needs someone like Katherine to show what's possible, and she knows she has my support in getting the profile of what we're doing as high as possible," she said.

"I'm a tadpole in rowing compared to what she's achieved and I just hope to do justice to the fact that we've got this chance together. I know she'll produce a great race for me and I'll give everything I've got for her."

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