23 Aug 2016
Loughborough University enjoys huge success at Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Loughborough University has enjoyed its most successful Olympic Games for a number of decades, winning twelve medals, five of which were gold.
No fewer than 17 athletes collected these medals, 10 getting their hands on golds, as Loughborough won eight more medals than the four won at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Such was the Loughborough success, that if the University was a country it would have finished The Games 17th on the medal table, just behind Jamaica and Kenya and ahead of the likes of New Zealand and Canada.
The highlight of The Games from a Loughborough perspective undoubtedly came when Team GB won gold in the women’s hockey, the first time Britain has ever won the gold medal in that event. The side contained five Loughborough alumnae, including Maddie Hinch who played a starring role, saving every penalty in the shootout that was needed to clinch gold. What’s more, Head Coach Danny Kerry, who guided the team to an astonishing eight wins from eight, is a Loughborough graduate.
It hardly seems two weeks since Adam Peaty obliterated his own world record to romp to 100m breaststroke gold, adding silver in the 4x100m medley relay a few days later. The Loughborough based swimmer, coached by alumna Mel Marshall, was undoubtedly another highlight of The Games.
Also enjoying success on the water was Matt Gotrel, as he won gold as part of the men’s coxed eight, rowing’s blue ribband event. The Olympic champion only took up rowing after commencing his studies at Loughborough University, a remarkable feat.
There was further coaching success as graduate Ben Ryan guided Fiji to their first ever Olympic medal. He also made history as his side went unbeaten to win the inaugural Olympic Rugby Sevens gold, after the sport was included for the first time in Rio. In the final, Fiji faced Great Britain and despite being on the wrong end of defeat, another graduate Phil Burgess was delighted to win silver.
Four medals were won on the penultimate day of action, the highlight being graduate Liam Heath completing his Olympic medal collection. After winning bronze in the double canoe sprint at London 2012 alongside fellow alumnus Jon Schofield, the duo upgraded their medal to silver in Rio. However just two days later Heath went one better, winning the individual event to become Team GB’s most successful canoeist of all-time.
There was also a piece of history for Vicky Holland, who won bronze in the women’s triathlon, Britain’s first ever medalist in that event. Holland was another Loughborough athlete only to take up her sport at university.
The final Loughborough medalists came in athletics; Emily Diamond, who graduated from the same sports science class as Maddie Hinch, won bronze in the 4x400m relay alongside Loughborough based Anyika Onuora. Last but not least, Sophie Hitchon broke her own British record to become the first British athlete to win a medal in the women’s hammer.
Gold: Adam Peaty, Matt Gotrel, Liam Heath, Giselle Ansley, Maddie Hinch, Hannah MacLeod, Laura Unsworth (Accounting and Financial Management BSc graduate 2013), Nicola White, Danny Kerry, Ben Ryan
Silver: Adam Peaty, Phil Burgess, Liam Heath, Jon Schofield
Bronze: Vicky Holland, Emily Diamond, Anyika Onuora, Asha Philip, Sophie Hitchon
With the Paralympic Games kicking off on Wednesday, 7th September expect more Loughborough success. Follow all the action via the channels below.
The full story can also be seen online by clicking here.