Press Releases

Reading rows to Olympic glory – University of Reading

Release Date : 31 August 2004

medal wearerThe 2004 Olympics in Athens proved to be a big success for University students both past and present as Reading maintained its reputation for producing top-class rowers. Between them, Reading's rowers brought home one gold and two silver medals. Competing in the men's coxless four, former Human Geography student James Cracknell won his second Olympic gold medal as Great Britain pipped World Champions Canada to victory. With triple gold medal winner Matthew Pinsent in the boat and going for a historic fourth, the race was always going to be full of tension and excitement. It lived up to all expectations as both crews were neck and neck throughout, Great Britain crossing the line just 0.08 seconds ahead. This was certainly one of the Olympics' most exciting ever finishes. Debbie Flood, who is studying Physiology and Biochemistry, had to be content with silver in the women's coxless quadruple sculls as the German team proved just too strong. Although the Great Britain crew at one stage were within half a boat length of the Germans they were unable to snatch gold. Happy as Debbie is with her medal she arrives home vowing to do better saying, "the next one will be gold". Cath Bishop, who gained a German PhD in 2000, and her rowing partner Katherine Grainger claimed the women's pairs silver medal by staging a dramatic comeback. The pair were lying fourth for a large part of the race but powered their way through to second spot. Away from the water and in the judo hall, Mechanical Engineering and Teaching graduate Georgina Singleton just missed out on a medal. Competing in the 48-52kg class she fought gallantly through to the semi-finals but unfortunately could not overcome her Belgian opponent. Economics student Ibrahim Bisharat, representing Jordan in equestrian, just failed to make the final round of the mixed individual jumping. end


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