2 August 18:10 (BST)

'Erase my name, break my records': GRAINGER challenges British rowers

GLASGOW - Rowing legend Katherine GRAINGER (GBR) has challenged athletes at the 2018 European Championships to erase her name from the history books.

The equal most-decorated British female Olympian of all time believes the rowing event in Glasgow should act as "a stepping stone" to future successes.

"The European championships are a big event in their own right," said GRAINGER, who won bronze in the double sculls at the Poznan edition of the championships in 2015. "Sometimes it tends to be the medal you haven't got and it's the one you want.

"It comes halfway between the Rio and Tokyo Olympics and it will be such a high-level competition. It's a stepping stone, but it's a big stone. It's a way of testing yourself on the way to the next Olympics."

GRAINGER's place in rowing history remains unchallenged at present, but she believes it is inevitable she will be overtaken one day.

"You want to leave your mark and take as many titles as you can," she said. "Part of you wants to hold on to your achievements for ever, but you also want the sport to move on. Sport by its very nature is about improvement and continual progress. It's a process of evolution.

"Although a little part of you is dying inside that your name is going to be erased, it's healthy because you want to see the next generation become even bigger superstars. They shouldn't be daunted by what has been achieved before."

GRAINGER, who was made a Dame in the 2017 New Year's Honours list for services to sport and charity, at Rio 2016 became the first British woman to win medals at five successive Olympic Games, collecting four silvers and one gold, as well as six world titles. Tennis star Kitty GODFREE (GBR) won her five Olympic medals (one gold, two silver, two bronze) across two Olympic Games.

"There is nothing more exciting than watching young athletes be inspired by what you have done and then doing it themselves," she said.

"I'm sure Steve REDGRAVE (GBR) had a sporting hero to aspire to. I did. Mine was Steve."

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