Edinburgh athletes get set for Tokyo

A record number of the University’s students, staff and alumni have been selected to compete in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Image of Polly Swann, Lucy Glover and Maddie Arlett
Olympic rowers Polly Swann, Lucy Glover and Maddie Arlett

Some 19 sports men and women, with strong links to the University, will represent their respective countries when the Games get underway on 23 July.  

Current students

One of Team GB’s top divers, Grace Reid, will compete in the 3 metre springboard, and 3 metre synchronised springboard, alongside 2018 Commonwealth silver medallist Kat Torrance. 

The Applied Sport Science student made her mark at the Rio 2016 Olympics before becoming European Champion in 2018 and the first woman to win a Commonwealth diving gold for Scotland.

Accounting and Business student Lucy Hope aims to build on her recent success, having won four gold medals at the European Swimming Championships in Budapest in May this year. Lucy will compete in Tokyo as part of the Team GB women’s 4x100 m freestyle relay team.

World shooting number one Seonaid McIntosh will make her Olympic debut in Tokyo. The MSc Performance Psychology student will compete in the women's 3x50 rifle and 10m air rifle events.

She will follow in the footsteps of her parents, who are both Commonwealth medallists and alumni of the University.  Seonaid's father and University of Edinburgh Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Donald McIntosh, will join his daughter in Tokyo as her coach. This is his third Olympics as coach.

Psychology student Lucy Glover recently won a silver medal in the European Championships on her senior rowing debut. She will compete in Tokyo as part of Team GB’s women’s quadruple sculls crew.

Sport Science student Lisa Thomson has been named as reserve for Team GB’s Women’s Rugby Sevens team.    


In this good luck film, members of the University community express their best wishes for everyone involved in the Games.

Video: Tokyo bound for Edinburgh athletes
A record number of the University’s students, staff and alumni have been selected to compete in the summer 2021 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. 19 sportsmen and women, with strong links to the University, will represent their respective countries when the Games get underway on 23 July.


Sports Hall of Fame inductee and 2016 Olympic silver medallist Dr Polly Swann will compete as part of Team GB’s women’s rowing pair with double Olympic champion Helen Glover. They will be coached by University of Edinburgh alumni and former Edinburgh University Boat Club coach Hamish Burrell.  

Law graduate Sarah Robertson has 50 appearances to her name for the Team GB hockey side. She will make her Olympic debut in Tokyo this summer.  

Steph Davis won the GB and NI marathon trial in London in March to confirm her place in Tokyo. The BSc Applied Sport Science graduate only took up competitive racing in 2018.    

2014 Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Sarah Adlington will be hoping to emulate her success in Glasgow when she travels to Tokyo. The BSc (Hons) Sport & Recreation Management graduate will compete in the women’s judo +78kg event.

Applied Sports Science graduate Maddie Arlett will travel to Tokyo as a reserve in Team GB’s rowing team. Maddie won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Championships.   

Chemical Engineering alumna Zara Malseed has been named as one of the reserves for the Team Ireland Women's Hockey Squad. 

Former Olympic Games finalist, double Commonwealth gold medallist and Performance Psychology graduate Caitlin McClatchey will be supporting Team GB athletes in her role as Athlete Service Manager. Caitlin’s place as one of Scotland’s greatest swimmers, with a glittering international career lasting more than a decade, was recognised in 2016 when she was inducted into the University of Edinburgh Sport Hall of Fame.

Audai Hassouna is an Architecture Graduate and will be representing Libya in 200m Freestyle.


Physical Education graduate and 2020 Sports Hall of Fame inductee Sarah Wilson, one of the world’s foremost hockey umpires, will officiate at her second Olympic hockey tournament in Tokyo. 

Economic History graduate and Scotland’s first female professional referee, Hollie Davidson, will officiate at the Rugby Sevens tournament and add to her reputation as a role model in her sport. 


In addition to a wealth of athletes, three University staff will travel to Tokyo in medical capacities.   

Dr Alastair Nicol, Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine and Medical Director of the University’s Sport and Exercise Medicine Clinic, FASIC, will be part of the Team GB medical team.

Pete Mitchell, an Advanced Practice Sports & Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, and Dr Andrew Murray will be part of the International Golf Federation delegation.  


Edinburgh will also be represented in the Tokyo Paralympics, which take place from 24 August to 5 September.

Having set a new world record in the S12 men's 100m butterfly at the British Para-Swimming International Meet in Sheffield this year, Stephen Clegg will head to Tokyo on a high.

The Edinburgh Performance Sport swimmer will be aiming for the podium after securing a silver medal, three bronze medals and setting a British record time in his World Para Swimming Championships bow in 2019. Stephen will also compete in the 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke. 

Also representing the University will be Scott Quin, one of Scottish swimming’s all-time great breast-stroke specialists, having won medals at Paralympic, World and European level.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the pinnacle for every athlete, coach and official, so it’s magnificent to see so many of our sporting community involved in the Games this summer. This is testament to their skill, talent and resilience, but also underlines the quality of our performance sport programme and the important part sport plays in the whole life of our University. We are enormously proud of them and wish them every success.

Jim Aitken MBEDirector of Sport and Exercise, the University of Edinburgh 

Related links

Edinburgh Sport and Exercise 

Performance Sport Programmes

Taking a Paralympian plunge to Tokyo

Official Tokyo 2020 website