On Sunday 21st August, the curtain came down on what Team GB will have every right to regard as an extremely successful Olympic Games in Rio. A total of 67 medals – including 27 golds – prompted UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl to declare Great Britain “one of the superpowers of Olympic sport.”
Athletes from these shores won gold medals across more sports than any other country (15), excelling at rowing once again. The GB Rowing Team topped the medal chart in their field, securing more golds (3) and more medals in total (5) than any other participating nation.
On “Super Saturday”, the GB eights achieved two podium finishes in the space of just thirty minutes – undoubtedly one of the highlights of the 2016 Games.
The men – reigning World Champions for the past three years – produced an exceptional display to beat nearest rivals Germany by more than a second. And that exceptional performance preceded a stunning comeback from the women’s eight, who came from last place to second in an exhilarating photo finish.
Elsewhere, Vicky Thornley and Katherine Grainger took silver in their double scull final – a feat that saw the latter become Team GB’s most decorated female Olympian.
Our other gold medals came via the women’s pair and men’s four events, concluding another fabulous performance on the water following the heroics of London 2012.
A vigorous training camp before travelling to Brazil saw the entire GB Rowing squad descend upon the German border, where Europe’s best facilities are located. It was the responsibility of Andrews Air Conditioning to ensure the environment was suitable for both preparation and resting, with normal outdoor temperatures regularly exceeding 30°C throughout the trip.
Jono Clegg, of the lightweight men’s four, said at the time: “Whilst you are sat there watching, know that you at Andrews were able to get us to South America in the best possible shape. Thank-you!”
Attentions will now turn to the World Rowing Championships, which are already underway in Rotterdam. We would therefore like to wish good luck to all those taking part and hope that the international tag of “the world’s best” will be retained for a second successive year.