Scots rower Heather Stanning gives Team GB its first Olympic gold

Scot Heather Stanning has taken Great Britain’s first gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games with partner Helen Glover after winning in the final of the women's pair rowing.

The pair made history as they also became the first women rowers to win an Olympic gold medal for the UK.

Ending the UK's four-day wait for a gold medal the pair smashed the race with a time of 7:27.13 to loud cheers from an ecstatic crowd which included Prince William and Prince Harry on Wednesday. Australia took the silver medal and New Zealand the bronze at the capacity crowd event at Eton Dorney.

Stanning, 27, was cheered on by her parents Tim and Mary, who had travelled from their home in Lossiemouth to support their daughter.

She trained at RMA Sandhurst and in 2008 she was commissioned into the Royal Artillery before being released from Army duties to train full time.

Stanning and Glover, 26, had been installed as firm favourites to take the gold medal in the final after they came into the games as three-time gold medal winners at World Cup events.

The Royal Mail has revealed a stamp to mark Stanning and Glover's achievement is to be issued. It will be available from lunchtime on Thursday.

After the race Stanning said: "I'm absolutely shattered and ecstatic at the same time. I want to collapse I'm so overjoyed. We've got out ahead throughout the season and we wanted to do that today, and not give anything back. Helen was telling me to keep on going. Thanks for all the support in Afghanistan, I'm so proud to be associated with you."

Helen Glover said: "I don't even remember smiling as I never ever thought we've got it. If I can do it, take the chance, in not just rowing, but anything."

Mary Stanning, Heather's mother, said: "It was quite surreal when we realised the girls had won gold. We didn't take anything for granted until they were over the line, because people have lost titles after being in the lead before. But the noise around us when they won, it was manic. I think you can safely say we were all pretty excited!

"I was brought back to earth a bit when I managed to drop my ticket while we were going to the medal ceremony and, after leaving my seating area to look for it, the chap on the gate wouldn't let me back in. I told him I was the mother of one of the women who had just won Britain's first gold medal, but he had his procedures to follow and he told me: "No ticket, no entry." We got it sorted out, though, and nothing could take the gloss over what was a fantastic day for all of us. It's still sinking in, but Heather and Helen and their coach, Robin [Williams], have worked so hard for this success you can't feel anything but a huge amount of pride in what they have achieved."

Prime Minister David Cameron led the tributes on twitter when he tweeted: "I couldn't be more delighted that Helen Glover and Heather Stanning have won the first gold medal for Team GB. Here's to many more."

Scots sports minister Shona Robison said: "What a fantastic achievement for Heather and Helen to bring home Team GB's first gold medal in such emphatic style. I have no doubt that the people of her home town of Lossiemouth will be leading the nationwide celebrations of this brilliant victory.

Simon Reid, principal of Gordonstoun where Stanning studied along with equestrian silver-medallist Zara Phillips, said: "Both Heather and Zara have achieved at the highest level in their chosen sport and I am immensely proud of them. To be chosen to represent your country is a huge achievement in itself but to win a medal is the icing on the cake.

London mayor Boris Johnson also tweeted: "Fantastic! First gold for team GB. Huge congratulations Heather and Helen. Go Team GB!"

You can watch the documentary The Scots Going for Gold on the STV Player

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