Olympic rowing: Stanning and Glover claim faster times to come

By Lawrence BarrettoBBC Sport at Eton Dorney

Great Britain's Heather Stanning and Helen Glover believe their best is yet to come after winning their women's pair heat in an Olympic record time.

The duo, winners of all three World Cup events in 2012, could become the first British female rowers to win gold.

Stanning said: "It was a solid performance and we felt quite controlled in our boat. That was only a heat race for us.

"We have a final to come and that is where we will pull out all the stops."

Should Stanning and Glover take victory in Wednesday's final, it would be a remarkable achievement considering the duo were a reserve pair two years ago.

Since then, they have worked with coach Robin Williams to turn themselves into a world-leading pairing.

The duo were unlucky to miss out on gold in last year's World Championships, where they were pipped on the line by New Zealand.

But since then they have had the measure of their rivals, with Australia now looking like their most serious threat.

Stanning, who is on leave from the Royal Navy where she is a captain in the Royal Artillery, added: "We are loving the support and the chants of 'GB'. You can never underestimate home advantage.

"The fact we've got all the people cheering for us gives you a surge, it makes you sit up tall and be proud to be representing them."

Glover added: "Plan A is always to expect to race to the line, and plan B is to conserve what we can. In the last 500m we rowed like how we felt we wanted to row.

"We are going to sit with our feet up today, and in the next couple of days we'll keep ticking over by doing some training, and the final will be the peak of our season."

Britain's men's eight - Alex Partridge, James Foad, Tom Ransley, Ric Egington, Moe Sbihi, Greg Searle, Constantine Louloudis, Matt Langridge and cox Phelan Hill - showed impressive speed on their first outing since Louloudis returned to the boat having recovered from a back injury.

While the Germans were comfortable victors, Searle - who won Olympic gold 20 years ago in Barcelona - remained positive and became emotional when talking about the support from fans.

"It felt amazing," said Searle. "The home crowd was amazing. I did feel a range of emotions from excitement to feeling I was going to be sick with nerves as we rowed up to the start.

"Then I felt really focused during the warm-up and during the race, as we came into the last 500m, I was just so focused and it was just an extra surge of energy to hear so much noise and so much of it being for us.

"We need to make the Olympic final and it's all about going step by step. We've got to have a really good race in the repechage and then put ourselves in a position to go as fast as we can in the final and challenge all the other boats."