Rio 2016: Diamond and Doyle win relay bronze and help Team GB make Olympic history
University of Bath-based athletes Emily Diamond and Eilidh Doyle helped Team GB make history at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as they won bronze in the women’s 4x400m relay.
It was Britain’s 66th medal of the Olympics, meaning they surpassed their total from London 2012 and became the first nation to win more medals four years after hosting the Games.
It also means that six medals have been won by athletes based at the Sports Training Village, adding to the four silvers won by British Swimming National Centre Bath swimmers Jazz Carlin, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Chris Walker-Hebborn.
Helen Glover and Sports Technology graduate Heather Stanning, who both learnt to row at the University, also defended their women’s pair title and Vicky Thornley – another graduate of the GB Rowing Team Start programme in Bath – won women’s double silver with five-time Olympic medallist Katherine Grainger.
The latest success came in the early hours of Sunday morning and saw 400m hurdles finalist Doyle, coached by Malcolm Arnold, lead the relay team off strongly with a 52.4 split on the opening leg.
Anyika Onuora kept them in contention before a phenomenal third leg by Diamond, coached by Jared Deacon, moved the GB quartet into the medal places.
Former Olympic Champion Christine Ohuruogu was then able to use her experience to maintain third position and secure a bronze medal in 3.25.88 behind the United States and Jamaica.
A delighted Diamond said: “I’m on cloud nine, it has been a whirlwind! I’m a bit speechless and have been in tears. My mum’s been in tears. It’s just amazing.
“We came into this knowing we had a shot at bronze. The Americans and Jamaicans are just so far ahead, but we knew bronze was up for grabs.
“Christine gave us a pep talk in the call room, telling us to keep composed and not to panic if things aren’t going to plan in the race, and we did that. To come away with a bronze medal is the icing on the cake for the season.”
Doyle added: “I have so much faith in these girls that as soon as I pass the baton over I trust them to get the job done. Hopefully I set it up nicely and then it just looked incredible.
“I was screaming at them the whole time and hoping we could just hang onto the medal.”
Picture by: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images