Great Britain celebrated their first gold medal of the London Olympic Games after Helen Glover and Heather Stanning stormed to victory in the final of the women's pair.

Glover and Stanning destroyed the field, winning by more than a length to make history at Eton Dorney as the first British female rowers to be crowned Olympic champions.

Australia pipped world champions New Zealand to win silver but neither crew was able to live with the blistering pace set by the British pair.

Glover and Stanning punched the air as they crossed the line and embraced in the boat after winning gold in sensational fashion at their first Olympic Games.

Victory for Glover and Stanning completed a remarkable unbeaten season for the British pair, who came into the Olympics as favourites after winning gold all three World Cup regattas.

That dominance was fuelled by the pain of being beaten into silver by New Zealand at the 2011 world championships by just eight hundredths of a second.

Glover and Stanning underlined their gold medal credentials by setting a new Olympic best time to win their heat on the opening day of the regatta, demolishing the previous mark by over four seconds.

The British pair made a blistering start and they sprinted into a clear water lead over the Kiwis by the 500 metre time-check, an advantage they held through to half-way mark.

When Glover and Stanning hit the wall of sound generated by 26,000 supporters in the grandstands, they extended their lead to two lengths. 

Germany powered to victory in the blue-riband Olympic men's eight, holding off the field in a thrilling sprint finish in front of 25,000 roaring fans.

Germany started the race as clear favourites after winning the last three world championships and going unbeaten in their world cup races since 2009.

They came under huge pressure in the second half of the race but held on to claim gold ahead of Beijing Olympic champions Canada in silver and Britain who slipped back to third.

Ukraine won the gold medal in the women's Rowing quadruple sculls.

World champions Germany were beaten into silver medal position with the United States taking bronze.