Tremendous in Tokyo!

Over the summer, athletes, officials and support staff with a connection to the University have enthralled and inspired us with their skill, resilience and talent at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Records have been broken, medals have been won and there are have been countless special moments of personal achievement.

Video: Congratulations to the Edinburgh Olympians and Paralympians
A video from students, staff and alumni congratulation those with a University of Edinburgh connection for their participation in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics

Competing in their debut Olympics were Alumnae Sarah Adlington, who was knocked out in the round of 32 in the women’s +78kg Judo event and MSc Performance Psychology student Seonaid McIntosh who finished 12th in the 10m Air Final and 14th in Womens 50m rifle 3 positions events.

Applied Sport Science student Grace Reid narrowly missed out on the semi-final in the 3m Springboard diving event but, with partner Katherine Torrance, finished an admirable 6th place in the Women’s synchronized 3m final.

Record breaking

In the pool, Architecture student Audai Hasouna finished in 7th place in his 200m Freestyle heat and Accounting and Business student Lucy Hope played a vital role in securing Team GB 5th place in the Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay. The team’s time in the final (3.34.03) set a fantastic new British record for the event.

On the water, Psychology student Lucy Glover was part of the Team GB W4x rowing crew who finished in first place in the B final, resulting in a final position of 7th in the event. In one of the stories of the games, alumna Polly Swann and her partner Helen Glover came agonisingly close to medalling in the W2 A-final but just missed out with a fourth place finish. Fellow Alumnae Charlotte Dobson finished in 6th place in the 49er FX medal sailing event.

Personal achievements

In one of the final events, Applied Sport Science graduate Steph Davis, was the first GB women’s athlete to cross the marathon finish line in 39th place. A magnificent achievement for an athlete who only ran her first marathon three years ago.

On the Rugby 7s pitch, Sport Science student, Lisa Thomson scored a try just moments into her Olympic debut against Kenya in the group stages but unfortunately Team GB went onto narrowly miss out on victory in the bronze medal match versus Fiji.

On the hockey field, Alumna Zara Malseed made her Olympic debut but, in a tightly contested group, Ireland missed out from qualifying to the later stages of tournament.

Medal success

There was medal success for fellow Hockey and Law Alumna Sarah Robertson who played a key role throughout the tournament for TeamGB, who secured a brilliant bronze medal with victory over India. Sarah capped her tremendous Tokyo performances with her first Olympic goal in the bronze medal match.

Former students, Hollie Davidson and Sarah Wilson both played integral parts in their respective events. University of Edinburgh Hall of Fame inductee, Sarah Wilson umpired the Gold medal match of the Women’s hockey tournament and Economic history graduate Hollie was part of the Women’s Rugby 7s Final referee team.

Edinburgh swimmers Stephen Clegg and Scott Quin shone on the Paralympic stage with medal success in multiple events. Stephen picking up bronze in the S12 100m backstroke and S12 100m freestyle and Silver in the  100m Fly and Scott securing bronze in the SB14 100m breaststroke final.

The events could not go ahead without the superb support staff and a number of University staff members played a huge role with Dr Alastair Nicol and physio Pete Mitchell in Tokyo and Dr Andrew Murray acting remotely.

An inspiring legacy

The impact of each athlete, official and support team member who played their part in making Tokyo 2020 a success cannot be under-estimated. Congratulations to everyone, but especially those with an Edinburgh connection.