Tokyo 2020: Paracanoeist Stuart Wood wins brilliant bronze to cap unforgettable summer for University of Bath-associated sportspeople

04 September 2021

Graduate Stuart Wood provided a fitting medal-winning conclusion to an unforgettable summer at Tokyo 2020 for University of Bath-associated sportspeople as he bagged VL3 paracanoeing bronze at the Paralympic Games this morning.

Wood, who first took up the sport with the University’s canoe club when he began studying Maths & Physics in 2012, clocked 52.760 in a first-ever men’s Paralympic final for the Va’a boat class that was introduced at these Games.

That came less than two hours after he had set a Paralympic Record of 50.004 while winning his semi-final.

Stuart Wood racing in the final. CREDIT: imagecomms

More history was to follow on Saturday morning as Dan Bethell, who was supported by the Team Bath Futures talent development programme during the early years of his career, won GB’s first-ever Paralympic badminton medal, a silver in the men’s SL3 singles.

Today’s result for Wood means that sportspeople who either currently train or studied at the University of Bath won a terrific 10 medals between them at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, with Wood’s bronze adding to the one gold, three silver and five bronze secured by wheelchair fencers Piers Gilliver, Dimitri Coutya and Oliver Lam-Watson.

There were also 11 medals won at the Olympic Games earlier in the summer with swimmers Tom Dean and James Guy both bagging double gold, the latter also adding a silver. There were further golds in the pool for Matt Richards, Freya Anderson, Calum Jarvis and graduate Anna Hopkin, while Joe Choong and Kate French completed a historic golden double in the modern pentathlon.

Attention is already turning to the next Olympics competition – the Beijing 2022 Winter Games which begin in 150 days’ time and will feature bobsleigh and skeleton athletes who train at the University of Bath.

Sportspeople are also working hard at the Team Bath Sports Training Village towards the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which are taking place next summer.

Click here for a full round-up of how University-based sportspeople fared at Tokyo 2020.

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