Rio 2016Olympic & Paralympic Games


14 Aug 2016

Gotrel grabs gold on Lake Lagoa as Loughborough win two more medals

Loughborough University alumnus Matt Gotrel clinched gold as part of the men’s coxed eight, the rowing blue ribband event, as Loughborough took their medal total to five on day eight in Rio.

Great Britain were the 2015 Word Champions in the men’s eight, but haven’t beaten Germany, who started as favourites, this year. Having said that, this is a crew who know how to perform when it matters, and that's what they did on Lake Lagoa on Saturday morning.

Getting out hard, the boat were almost a length clear at the halfway stage, and whilst Germany did try to come back in the final 500m, the race was already won, much to the delight of the travelling British fans. Post-race, sailor turned rower Matt Gotrel said:

“It’s four years of work and it’s just an amazing achievement for all of us here and everyone who’s worked with the boat – it’s been an amazing ride.”

Adam Peaty won his second medal of The Games as part of the Team GB quartet that secured silver in the men’s 4x100m medley relay, the final event in the pool.

Swimming the breaststroke, Peaty pulled the team up from mid-pack before handing over in the lead, an unbelievable swim. That said next up for eventual winners was Michael Phelps, who put them back in front, but Britain finished the job to win silver.

There was heartbreak for Fran Halsall earlier in the night as she missed out on a medal in the 50m freestyle by just 0.02 seconds. After a great start, Halsall arguably led until the final five metres when she was beaten on the touch, missing out on gold by just 0.06 as she finished fourth.

Returning to the pool less than an hour later, Halsall teamed up with Georgia Davies to contest the women’s 4x100m medley relay. Swimming the opening backstroke leg Davies put the team in the mix, but they slipped back to seventh over the middle two legs, giving Halsall an awful lot to do. She did move Team GB a bit closer to the rest of the field, but she couldn’t quite pass anyone, so the team had to settle for seventh.

Our fab five hockey girls helped Team GB make it five wins from five to top their group and advance to the quarter-finals. Taking on the USA in a head-to-head to see who would top Group B, the two sides produced a brilliant game, which was a great advert for the sport.

Britain were on top in the first half of the match, but at the end of the second quarter the score remained 0-0. Eventually it was the USA who broke the deadlock, but Team GB showed character to fight back, Hannah MacLeod, who was making her 150th international appearance, providing the assist for her side’s equaliser. Maddie Hinch was on top form again in goal, deny USA a couple of good chances, before the Brits got the winner. Giselle Ansley, Laura Unsworth and Nicola White, all Loughborough alumnae, once again played their part and will be in action again on Monday.

Emily Diamond recovered from food poising to advance to the 400m semi-finals on her Olympic debut. Finishing fourth in 51.76, the Loughborough University alumna took one of the eight fastest losers spots, meaning she’ll go again at 00:35 BST on Monday morning.

“I’m chuffed as I woke up at 1am two nights ago with food poisoning.  At one stage I didn’t think I was even going to make it onto the start line, so the fact that I made it on to the start line and even ran sub-52 has made me really happy. I am so pleased I was able to make it to the start line and become an Olympian.”

A bit of Irish luck shone down on Sara Treacy, as after being tripped in her heat of the women’s 3000m steeplechase she has been awarded a place in the final. Running arguably the race of her life tucked in at the back of a group of seven or eight leading runners, Treacy was taken out by Ethiopian Etenesh Diro and ended up on the ground in the centre of the track.

Scooping herself up off the track, Treacy completed the final two laps, battling all the way to the line to finish down in twelfth. Thankfully the officials reviewed the incident and Treacy, Diro and Praught of Jamaica, all of whom ended up on the ground, have been awarded a place in Monday’s final.

James Dasaolu was drawn in the same heat as the great Usain Bolt, which was also the case at London 2012. Bolt, who’s aiming for the triple-triple in Rio, made light work of winning in 10.07, whilst James Dasaolu came through for third in 10.18. Both men will go in the semi-finals on Sunday evening.

Contesting the women’s 100m semi-finals, Asha Philip finished eighth in 11.33, fractionally quicker than she ran yesterday but obviously not enough for a place in the final. She’ll be back in action in the 4x100m relay later in the week.

In the badminton arena, Loughborough Lightning National Badminton League star Henri ‘hoover’ Hurskainen got his Olympic campaign underway, beating Mexico’s Lino Munoz 2-0. His second group game is at 2.40pm BST on Sunday.

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Pete Matthews
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University