Alumni of St Mary’s University, Twickenham Karen Bennett, Moe Sbihi MBE and Matilda Horn have been selected to represent Team GB by British Rowing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Moe, who was a sports scholar at St Mary’s whilst studying Sport Science with Health, Nutrition and Exercise, has been selected for the men’s coxed eight. This will be Moe’s third Olympic Games, having won Gold in the men’s four at Rio 2016, and Bronze in the men’s eight at London 2012.
Speaking to British Rowing about competing in his third Olympic Games, Moe said, “It’s really exciting given its 12 months later than we all expected. It does feel a little different than normal, but I know it must be so exciting for those making their debuts. I remember what it was like for me being selected for my first Games and it’s still pretty awesome. We train incredibly hard and compete incredibly hard, and competing at the Olympics isn’t about being extraordinary, it’s about doing what we normally do, staying grounded and humble and giving our all out on the water.”
Karen, who studied Sports Rehabilitation at St Mary’s, has been selected to row in the women’s coxless four in Tokyo. She previously rowed in the women’s eight at Rio 2016, where she was part of the first British eight crew to win an Olympic medal at the team took the Silver.
Matilda Horn meanwhile will be making her Olympic debut as the Cox in the women’s eight. Having graduated from Sports Rehabilitation in 2015, Matilda has both coached and coxed medal winning squads for Team GB in recent years.
Both Moe and Karen have remained friends of St Mary’s since graduating. Both have addressed graduating classes at the University’s annual graduation ceremonies in Westminster Cathedral, with Moe speaking in 2015 ahead of the Rio 2016 Games, and Karen speaking in 2018 following her Olympic success.
Speaking of their selections for Tokyo, Head of Sport at St Mary’s Andrew Reid-Smith said,“We are delighted to see Moe and Karen selected again for the Olympics. It’s been wonderful to see them develop from talented athletes to experienced Olympians, and to enjoy their memorable performances along the way. We are also extremely proud to see Matilda making her first Games where she’ll be aiming to guide the women’s eight to further medal success. We wish them all, and the squad, every success in Tokyo.”