St Mary’s University, Twickenham’s record 18 athletes at the Rio Olympic Games contributed an astounding six medals to Team GB, ranking the University as the 25th most successful ‘nation’ on the Medal Table.
Team St Mary’s delivered three Gold Medals, two Silver Medals and one Bronze Medal, putting the University 25th in the world. This ranks the University ahead of major sporting nations including South Africa, Ukraine, Poland, and founders of the Olympic movement, Greece.
Medallists at the Games include record breaking distance runner and alumnus of St Mary’s Mo Farah, who became the first British athlete to retain a distance Gold Medal and the first to achieve a double-double of the 5000m and 10,000m titles. Elsewhere, rowers and alumni of St Mary’s Moe Sbihi and Karen Bennett achieved Gold in the Men’s Four and Silver in the Women’s Eight respectively.
Current student Joshua Buatsi achieved Bronze in the Men’s Light-heavyweight Boxing after putting in a series of strong performances against higher ranked opposition. Meanwhile, alumnus Simon Amor coached the Men’s Rugby 7s squad to a Silver Medal in the sport’s inaugural Olympic tournament.
Amongst the other athletes attending the Games from St Mary’s were alumnus 1500m finalist Charlie Grice, alumna and 5000m runner Steph Twell, current student and 800m runner Elliot Giles, alumna and 10,000m runner Beth Potter, and current student and Team Canada Fencer Leonora Mackinnon, amongst many others.
Head of School for Sport Health and Applied Science Prof John Brewer said, “Whilst we join the nation in celebrating the successes of Team GB, St Mary’s is especially proud of the contributions made by our past and present students. Despite being a relatively small community, as a university of 6000 students, our six medals represent a tally that would place us high on the medal table if St Mary’s were a country. The success reflects the quality and dedication of the athletes from a range of sports who study here.”
Director of Sport Andrew Reid-Smith said, "Team GB have inspired and enthralled the whole nation with their wonderful performances in Rio and to have bettered the medal haul from London 2012 is an incredible result. St Mary's students, past and present, have won medals, set new world standards and significantly contributed across five Olympic sports. This is testament to their skill and ability but working with the athletes also gives us the opportunity to see how motivated and hard working they are. St Mary's is delighted for them and very proud of what they have achieved."
St Mary’s has a proud history of Olympic and Paralympic success. As part of St Mary’s contribution to the London Games the University supported athletes from ten different nations and provided Pre Games Training Camps for China, South Africa, Japan and Ireland. Based on London 2012 medals won St Mary’s finished sixth, the highest placed London institution, in Podium’s league table for universities. Lord Coe, the chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and President of the IAAF, opened St Mary’s latest sports facilities. International athletes competing at the Games used these facilities, which continue to provide a sporting legacy for students, staff and local community alike.