An astonishing day at the London 2012 Olympics saw four University of Nottingham graduates win medals.
Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott (both Mechanical Engineering 2000) wrote their names in Olympic history by winning won gold while David Florence (Mathematical Physics 2005) and his partner Richard Hounslow secured the silver for Great Britain in the Men’s C2 Canoe Slalom.
And this amazingly exciting run came just hours after another graduate Chris Bartley (Biology 2005) secured rowing silver in the Men’s Lightweight Four.
Today Etienne told BBC Sport: “I haven’t had a wink of sleep. It just hasn’t sunk in. We’d done everything we could to prepare for the event but in canoe slalom you just never know what’s going to happen.”
David Florence added: “To get our first ever gold and a silver is just an incredible achievement for GB canoeing and it was great to be a part of that team at our home Olympics.”
After their Olympic winning performance Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie’s personal tutor, Andrew Long, said: “I knew Tim and Etienne as undergrads, and was personal tutor to both for their 3rd year projects.
“Both worked on polymer composite materials, and have now won gold paddling a composite canoe! Tim went on to work for me as a Research Assistant for a few years after that, taking time off for training until the National Lottery stepped in with funding. They are both lovely lads and I could not be happier for them.”
Their success further cements the University’s reputation for producing world class canoeists, following medals in four previous Olympic Games:
• Beijing 2008: Tim Brabants – gold and bronze / David Florence – silver
• Athens 2004: Campbell Walsh – silver
• Sydney 2000: Tim Brabants – bronze
• Barcelona 1992: Gareth Marriott – silver
Competing in the Men’s Lightweight Four, GB’s rowing team, including Christ Bartley, overcame World Champions Denmark on the line to finish just a quarter of a second behind gold medalists South Africa.
After cheering Chris to the line, the University’s Assistant Director of Sport Nige Mayglothling said: “Chris was a real asset to the University Boat Club and a genuinely nice guy to have around when he rowed with us throughout his Under 23 days. I am delighted that he and the lads managed such a great result in a fantastically tight race.”
University of Nottingham alumni will continue to feature in the Games with Anne Panter (Mathematics and Economics 2009), Nick Catlin (History 2011), Rob Moore (Economics 2003) and future student Harry Martin all competing in their respective women’s and men’s hockey teams.
Then of course we also have Beijing gold and bronze medallist Tim Brabants (Medicine 1999, Hon LLD 2009) competing for Team GB in the Canoe Sprint next week alongside Jonathan Akinyemi (Philosophy 2010) who will represent Team Nigeria.