SHOLTO Carnegie and Fiona Gammond are embracing the expectation at their first Olympic Games.

The Oxfordshire pair line-up in the men’s four and the women’s eight respectively in Japan, with their first heats taking place in the early hours of tomorrow.

Rowing is Team GB’s most continuously successful sport at the Games and Carnegie competes in an event where his country have won five straight gold medals.

Some would be daunted by the success of past generations, but the 26-year-old is relishing the challenge.

He said: “I think all that pressure is what we put on ourselves.

“I feel it’s a privilege to be part of that great tradition of rowers who have made our men’s four so successful.

“There is pressure, but that’s a good thing and we will enjoy it and won’t let it overcome us.

“It’s just about doing our job to get to the Olympic final.

“When we get there, we will be ready and we know what to do –because it’s what we do all the time.”

Carnegie grew up in Oxford and as a teenager attended The Cherwell School, on Marston Ferry Road.

He learned to row at City of Oxford, before spending four years at Yale University in America.

Carnegie returned to Oxfordshire and joined Henley’s famous Leander Club, which is well-represented at the Games.

Five members, including Gammond, will line-up in the women’s eight as they seek to go one better than five years ago.

Team GB won silver in 2016 and the 28-year-old, who grew up in Bucknell, near Bicester, is excited for what the next fortnight holds.

The former Headington School pupil said: “I don’t feel pressure, because all you can do is your best.

“That is a principle I have always had in my rowing.

“I would say that I am inspired by what the women’s eight achieved in Rio, rather than pressured by it.”

In addition to a host of Leander rowers, there are others with strong Oxfordshire links in Japan.

Rory Gibbs and Joshua Bugajski, both of Oxford Brookes University, compete in the men’s four and men’s eight respectively.

Fellow Brookes students Morgan Bolding and Matthew Tarrant are among Team GB’s four spares for the Games.

Interviews by Stuart Weir.