Grant (pictured second from left) rowing for the CUWBC eight’sOlivia Coffey/Cambridge University Boat Club

Team GB’s Imogen Grant and Emily Craig placed fourth in the Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls earlier today (29/07), finishing behind Dutch duo Marieke Keijser and Ilse Paulis by a narrow margin of just 0.01 seconds. Italy’s Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini took gold in what proved to be an agonisingly tight race.

Grant’s time in Cambridge, as an undergraduate at Trinity College, saw her compete in the annual Boat Race on two occasions, triumphing on her second outing in 2018. Unlike most rowers at the Games, Grant’s first time on the water came as a novice for Trinity Boat Club, attending a taster session on the offer of a free drink.

Kickstarting her rapid rise to the Olympic stage, she competed for Team GB as a lightweight single sculler at the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, taking home a bronze medal. With this taste for international success, Grant went on to claim gold in the same boat class at the third World Rowing Cup of 2019, shortly before earning World Championships bronze alongside Craig in the lightweight double.


Mountain View

Anna Kiesenhofer, former Cambridge student, cycles to Tokyo gold

The pair’s heartache in Tokyo comes off the back of an unbelievable performance in yesterday’s semi-final (28/07), cruising to a new World Best Time of 6:41.99 that ironically broke the previous record set last month by Keijser and Paulis at the World Rowing Cup III. On the penultimate day of competition at the Sea Forest Waterway, Grant and Craig crossed the finish line in a time of 6:48.04, with only one stroke separating them from the Dutch boat. Despite a leading 500-metre start, the GB duo struggled to dominate the field, as it came down to a sprint for the line with all four teams in medal contention. The Dutch crew caught a crab in the last few lengths, but unfortunately this was not enough to see Grant and Craig achieve bronze in a final that was determined by photo finish.

Speaking after the race, Grant claimed that “pretty much everything went to plan […] it just happened that the outcome wasn’t exactly what we hoped for”. On the result, Grant found an admirable resolve in her defeat: “being at the Olympic Games is more than winning a medal, it’s actually reflecting on how far we’ve come over the last two to three years from our medal in 2019. Obviously we were hoping to come away with a medal here, but ultimately I’m really proud of what we’ve done”.

Varsity congratulates Imogen and Emily on their Olympic journey, also making the city of Cambridge very proud.