“Both of us knew we had the goods to perform,” a grinning Grainger told the BBC after the gold was won.

“It doesn’t seem real!” Watkins said.

The Team GB rowing golden girls were rewarded by thunderous cheers from British fans watching at Eton Dorney.

Grainger and Watkins were gunning for gold today after a run of silvers at past Olympics have left Grainger tantalised but not satisfied with her podium finishes.

Grainger and Watkins broke a 20-year-old Olympic record by almost five seconds in the women’s double sculls heats and Britain was holding its breath for the pair in today’s finals.

Since coming together in 2010, Grainger and Watkins have won every one of the 22 races they’ve completed as a pair and although Grainger contemplated retiring from the sport after failing to win a gold in Beijing , she’s made no secret of her determination to finish first today.

“To be honest, I feel this medal of all of them is the people’s medal,” Grainger said after wining gold today. “So many people have been behind me and supported me. It’s off the back of everyone I’ve ever worked with and rowed with. Every single person’s been a part of this. It makes the medal feel even more special.”

The rowing star said in an interview after the heats that she would be “exploding with joy” if today’s final went well.

“It is so satisfying putting in a good performance in a home Olympics, in front of a home crowd. This is the one we want more than anything,” she said at the time.

“The Olympic final is different from anything else we’ll ever race. Of all my Olympic experiences before, this is the important one.”