Italy's Josefa Idem became the first woman to compete in eight Olympic Games on Tuesday when she qualified for the kayak final at Eton Dorney.
The 47-year-old from Santerno pipped Great Britain's Rachel Cawthorn in to first place in the K1 single kayak, raising the prospect of a gold medal on Thursday.
London is the eighth Games for Idem, who first won an Olympic bronze medal in Los Angeles in 1984 when she was only 19.
Since then, she has won bronze in Atlanta, gold in Sydney and silver at both Athens and Beijing.
Speaking to reporters after qualifying for the final of the K1, Idem, a mother-of-two, said she still trains for four hours a day.
"Every day you have to work on your motivation. You always have to think about it," she said.
"You go out really tired, you go out with bad weather, you go out with problems at home. But you have to go. This is it - the effort you have to put in if you want to succeed.
"I am very lucky. Many people do the same amount of work as I do and they don't go to the Olympics so my motivation comes from the fact that I was lucky and I was good all these years."