They may have been delayed until 2021 but the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were truly worth the wait as sportspeople who train or studied at the University of Bath brought home an incredible 21 medals – 11 of them gold.
Mechanical Engineering student Tom Dean’s magnificent swim in an unforgettable men’s 200m freestyle final sparked an Olympic gold rush for members of the British Swimming National Centre Bath elite training squad based at the University.
Dean, supported by a Bill Whiteley Sporting Scholarship, also won gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay along with James Guy, Matt Richards and Sports Performance graduate Calum Jarvis.
Guy added another gold in the mixed 4x100m medley relay, with Sport & Exercise Science graduate Anna Hopkin anchoring the British quartet to victory in a world record time, and bagged his third medal with silver in the men’s medley relay. Freya Anderson also brought home mixed medley relay gold after her excellent swim in the heats.
It was then the turn of Pentathlon GB duo and University of Bath graduates Kate French (Sports Performance) and Joe Choong (Mathematics) to cap an incredible 17 days of Olympic competition by winning modern pentathlon gold in the space of 24 hours, both setting Olympic records in the process.
The success kept coming at the Paralympic Games as three members of the EIS World-Class Wheelchair Fencing Programme, based at the University since 2015, brought home nine medals between them.
Piers Gilliver was crowned as Paralympic Champion in the Category A epee and also teamed up with training partners Dimitri Coutya and Oliver Lam-Watson to win silver in the team foil and bronze in the team epee. Coutya also claimed individual bronze medals in the Category B epee and foil.
Maths & Physics graduate Stuart Wood also brought home bronze from his first Paralympic Games in the inaugural VL3 paracanoeing competition.
In total 20 sportspeople who train at the STV represented their countries at the Olympics and eight more competed for ParalympicsGB at the Paralympics, along with a further nine University of Bath graduates and a host of sporting alumna including former Team Bath Tennis pro Marcus Daniell who won a historic men’s doubles bronze for New Zealand.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games roll of honour
Tom Dean (swimming) – 2 gold (200m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle relay).
James Guy (swimming) – 2 gold (4x200m freestyle relay, mixed 4x100m medley relay), 1 silver (men’s 4x100m medley relay).
Freya Anderson (swimming) – 1 gold (mixed 4x100m medley relay).
Joe Choong (modern pentathlon) – 1 gold.
Kate French (modern pentathlon) – 1 gold.
Anna Hopkin (swimming, alumni) – 1 gold (mixed 4x100m medley relay).
Calum Jarvis (swimming) – 1 gold (4x200m freestyle relay).
Matt Richards (swimming) – 1 gold (4x200m freestyle relay).
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games roll of honour
Piers Gilliver (wheelchair fencing) – 1 gold (Category A epee), 1 silver (men’s team foil), 1 bronze (men’s team epee).
Dimitri Coutya (wheelchair fencing) – 1 silver (men’s team foil), 3 bronze (Category B epee, Category B foil, men’s team epee).
Oliver Lam-Watson (wheelchair fencing) – 1 silver (men’s team foil), 1 bronze (men’s team epee).
Stuart Wood (paracanoe, alumni) – 1 bronze (VL3).