Rowing legend Grainger 'thrilled' by new challenge

Katherine Grainger, a five-time Olympics rowing medallist, is due to start her new job next week in charge of UK Sport, the body that dispenses government and Lottery money to federations

Britain's most decorated female Olympic athlete Katherine Grainger says she is 'thrilled' with her appointment on Friday to be the chairwoman of UK Sport.

The 41-year-old -- five times an Olympic rowing medallist including gold in London in 2012 -- succeeds Rod Carr who steps down after a four year spell in charge of the body which oversees how funding is distributed among sports.

Grainger's appointment despite having no administrative experience was confirmed by the British Government on Friday -- having received the seal of approval of Prime Minister Theresa May.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be appointed as the next UK Sport chair," said Grainger, who will be paid £40,000 ($51,000, 47,800 euros) a year.

"I am also very honoured to be joining the team at UK Sport and building on the success and commitment to excellence that I have witnessed and enjoyed as an athlete.

"I'm also acutely aware of the many challenging issues currently within sport and I hope to play a role in addressing them."

Among the challenges facing Grainger will be the fallout from the British Cycling scandal with an independent review set for publication.

Sports funding -- a mix of taxpayer money fixed by the government and the Lottery -- is also a thorny issue.

A dip in money being spent by the public on the Lottery precipitated the decision by UK Sport in December to cut funding to seven sports ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said Grainger was the perfect candidate for such a post.

"Dame Katherine is a peerless leader both on the water and off it," said Crouch.

"As one of our greatest ever Olympians, she has an outstanding understanding of high performance sport, and through her educational and charity work has a proven commitment to inclusion."