Anna Watkins MBE

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Olympic Gold Medal Winner

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Rower Anna Watkins provided one of the highlights of the London 2012 Olympics when she and three-time silver medalist Katherine Grainger finally took gold.


Rower Anna Watkins played her part in a hugely successful London 2012 Olympics not just by winning gold, but by partnering three-time silver medalist Katherine Granger to a long awaited Olympic win.

Starting rowing like so many at university at Cambridge, Anna was talent spotted within two years of taking up the sport and within another year won her first competition, in the coxless fours at the World Under 23 Regatta. Moving up to the full international squad, Anna’s rise to winning ways had begun.

With her partner Elise Laverick Anna won bronze at both the World Championships and at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 after a season in which she had contracted glandular fever. She took silver at the next World Championships before joining up with Britain’s best known woman rower, Katherine Grainger.

Anna and Katherine were unbeaten in their first season rowing together and they went on to claim two World Championship golds before entering the London 2012 games. The pressure was on the pair, particularly because Grainger, seen as the best female rower never to win an Olympic gold after three attempts and three silvers, was nearing the end of her professional career. Setting a new Olympic record on the way the pair convincingly won their Olympic final to take gold and provide one of the most memorable moments of the games.

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