LOSSIEMOUTH’S Heather Stanning has become the first British athlete to reach a London 2012 Olympic final.
In the first race at the rowing competition on Saturday morning at Eton Dorney, along with partner Helebn Glover, Stanning won the first heat in the women's pair event.
They dominated from the start and quickly opened up a gap in the 2000 metre race.
They were never headed and came home first in a time of 6mins 57.29secs, finishing ahead of the USA team, who also qualified for the final.
Olympic champions Romania finished third and must race again to see if they can line up in the final.
Stanning was voted the student most likely to win an Olympic Gold when she left Gordonstoun nine years ago.
Skip to 2012, and the 27-year-old is focusing all her efforts on doing just that as she prepares to compete in the women’s coxless pairs for Team GB.
Along with crewmate Helen Glover, the Army officer was selected for London 2012 after winning gold in both Belgrade and Lucerne under the 2012 World Cup Series.
Heather, who now lives in Reading, left Lossiemouth to study a BSc (Hons) in Sports Technology at Bath University.
It was there that she took up the sport, claiming her first title at the 2006 Student Indoor Rowing Championships.
As a result she was accepted onto British Rowing’s Start Programme and in 2007 she won gold with crewmate Olivia Whitlam in the women’s pair at the World U23 Championships in Strathclyde, Scotland.
She has since gone from strength to strength, first with Whitlam before teaming up with Glover in 2010.
After graduation, Heather joined the Army and was commissioned from RMA Sandhurst in August 2008 into the Royal Artillery.
She has now been released from Army duties to allow her to train full time in the run-up to the Olympics.
Eton Dorney will be the venue for rowing, paralympic rowing and canoe sprint events during the London 2012 games.