Trinity medic Imogen Grant rowed ‘an epic race’ with sculling partner Emily Craig, missing out on an Olympics’ bronze medal by the tiniest of whiskers in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls.
Six pairs steamed down Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway in what double Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell called an ‘epic race.’
Italy took gold, France secured silver and the Netherlands achieved bronze, squeezing out the British pair by 0.01 of a second. There was just half a second between the top four crews at the finishing line.
After the race Imogen tweeted:
Five-times rowing medalist Dame Katherine Grainger said they British pair hadn’t ‘put a foot wrong.’ Professor Joan Lasenby, Fellow in Engineering at Trinity, and keen athlete said:
They have to be really pleased with their row, which could so easily have resulted in a medal. When it is a blanket finish like that, the phase of the boat (where you are in the stroke) relative to the finishing line, really matters.
The Master of Trinity, Dame Sally Davies, said:
Getting to the Olympics and competing at this level in what was an incredible race is remarkable. Imogen has and will I am sure go on to achieve great things in her career. That she was able to pursue rowing at a world-class level is testament to the fact Trinity is a place where unexpected opportunities can be taken, talents untapped and dreams fulfilled.
We are all very proud of Imogen and look forward to welcoming her back.
British Rowing has described Imogen’s ‘meteoric rise to the top’ of rowing. And that was way before the Olympics.
Imogen grew up in Cambridge but didn’t touch an oar before 2014 when she came to Trinity to study Medicine. She said:
When I joined Trinity I hadn’t done any sport for two years, instead focusing on my A levels. I signed up for a rowing taster session during Freshers’ Week on a whim, and loved it as soon as I stepped in a boat.
Being a professional sportswoman was never something I dreamed of doing when I was younger, and now I have the opportunity it has opened my eyes to so many different possibilities.
Imogen went on to row for Cambridge, including two victorious Boat Races, won gold in the lightweight single sculls at the U23 World Rowing Championships in 2018, and in 2019 qualified for the lightweight double sculls for the Olympic games with a bronze medal at the World Championships.
With 2020 Olympics postponed due to the pandemic, Imogen extended her time out of medical training to focus on rowing. She erged in her living room while her sculling partner Emily Craig did likewise in her kitchen; they kept in close virtual contact.
The pair won a silver medal at the European Rowing Championships this season and gold in the second Rowing World Cup in Switzerland. The stage was set for Tokyo.
Trinity Fellow Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, Professor of Cancer Prevention at the Medical Research Council Cancer Unit, said:
Imogen’s rowing career has been nothing short of remarkable and we’re incredibly proud of her. We’re looking forward to welcoming her back to Cambridge to resume her medical training. Her determination in all that she does will stand her in great stead for her future career as a doctor.