Team Great Britain's (GB) Helen Glover and Heather Stanning have set a new Olympic record in the first heat of the women's rowing pairs event at the 2012 London Olympic Games, directly qualifying for the final on Wednesday 1 August. The pair put on a dominant performance at Eton Dorney, blowing the competition away with a time of 6:57.29s and beating the previous Games record by over four seconds.
The United States also qualified for the final by finishing second. Defending champions and event favourites Romania finished third, with Germany and Argentina in fourth and fifth respectively, leaving the three teams to compete in the repechage for a place in the decider.
Team GB rowed smoothly and strongly, already in control by the 500m time check mark (3:24.29s) and finished a full length ahead of the Americans.
"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," Glover told the BBC.
However, there were also some disappointing notes for the hosts. The men's archery team lasted only 20 minutes in front of a packed house at the Lord's cricket ground, losing 212-223 to Ukraine. The home team shot just five maximums in their 24 attempts, compared to their opponents' 11.
The hosts - represented by Larry Godfrey, Simon Terry and Alan Wills - fell behind from the outset. They were promptly punished by the Ukrainians, who were 10 ahead at the halfway point (102-112). Team GB fought back, but the damage was already done. The Ukrainians - Viktor Ruban, Dmytro Hrachov and Markiyan Ivashko - held their nerve to clinch victory.
The British archers were considered medal favourites coming into London 2012, having won the World Cup earlier this year.