Rio 2016Olympic & Paralympic Games


8 Aug 2016

Allan and Team GB miss out in Rugby Sevens bronze medal match

Team GB Rugby Sevens were dealt a cruel blow as they aimed to make history as the first ever Olympic Sevens medallists, beaten by a physical Canadian side in the bronze medal match.

In truth Team GB, containing Loughborough University graduate Claire Allan, were out played with Canada the much stronger side, dominating the breakdown. What makes it an even bitterer pill to swallow is that Team GB beat Canada 22-0 in their pool game, but this time the result was reversed.

Having lost out to New Zealand in the semi-finals earlier in the day, largely down to playing with just five women at one point due to yellow cards, Great Britain looked a shadow of the side that went unbeaten on Saturday and Sunday, as strength prevailed over speed.

The rowing events resumed on Monday, having been postponed on Sunday due to high winds. First up was alumnus Matt Gotrel, reigning world champion in the blue ribband event, the men’s eight. As expected the crew put in a flawless performance to win by almost a full length.

Post-race the sailor turned rower said:

“It was a good start. It’s good to get the first race out of the way. For a few of the guys it’s our first Olympics, so it’s nice to be officially an Olympian now. The Olympics is a big deal, but for us it’s just another day in the office. Getting through to the final on Saturday is where we want to be. There are a few things to work on, but it’s a good start.”

Returning to the lake below Christ The Redeemer for the repechage were graduate Jonny Walton and his double sculls partner John Collins. After a poor performance in the heats on Saturday they bounced back to pull clear of the field in the final 500m and win convincingly, booking their semi-final place. They are back in action on Tuesday at 2.30pm BST.

There was also a terrific performance by Beijing Olympian and Loughborough University alumna Fiona Pennie in the first round of the canoe slalom. A flawless first run saw her sitting pretty at the top of standings, meaning she could pass her second run safe in the knowledge that she had already done enough to progress to the semi-finals.

“I’m really pleased with how that went. It was a pretty average run really but at this stage of the game, qualifying was the most important thing. I was thinking of doing the second run but my coach said the same pressure wouldn’t be there so he felt it would be best for me to rest up ahead of Thursday.                                            

“There has been a lot of training going into this and looking at a lot of videos and I think it has really helped us here.”

The GB Hockey Women were the final side with Loughborough interest in action on day three. Alumnae Giselle Ansley, Maddie Hinch, Hannah MacLeod, Laura Unsworth and Nicola White all played their part as Team GB beat India 3-0, to make it two wins from two. What’s more Ansley and White got on the score sheet in quick succession to put Team GB in a commanding position and ensure they were victorious. 

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Pete Matthews
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University