Rydal alumni claims silver at Rio

Rower Vicky Thornley, former Rydal Penrhos pupil, secures second place in double sculls at Rio Olympics

A former Rydal Penrhos pupil produced a sensational effort to claim a silver medal at the Rio Olympics.

Rower Vicky Thornley and partner Kathy Grainger put in their best showing of the games to secure second place in the double sculls event, making her the 10th Welsh woman in history to gain a medal.

The pair led for the majority of the race before being caught at the death by the victorious Polish team, who had triumphed over the duo in the semi-finals.

Thornley said: “I am so thankful to Katherine because she did such a great job.

‘It was quite a big head wind. I am not sure what happened in the end where it just got a bit tight or whatever.

‘You think about the last 100 metres but a silver medal is pretty nice.

‘I am a bit lost for words and it’s a whirlwind.

‘It’s been really hard for the last few months but over the last six weeks every day has been very enjoyable.

‘It has been hard and we have had to dig deep and make some big changes and they paid off.”

The success was made even more significant for Grainger, who became the most successful British female Olympian of all time with yet another medal to add to her collection.

It caps a memorable Olympics for the pair, who endured a difficult preparation but responded superbly with second place finishes in the heats, semis and final.

Allen Boyd, director of sport at Rydal Penrhos, said: “This is a remarkable achievement in the face of adversity and their success is richly deserved.

“Everyone at Rydal Penrhos is immensely proud of Vicky’s achievements, and to call yourself an Olympic medallist is an athlete’s dream.”

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