Friday, February 12, 2016

BIRTH: Feb. 13–Anna Watkins, Cambridge Rower

Cantab Anna Rose Watkins, MBE, Gold Medalist,
Double Sculls, 2012 Olympics
This day in 1983 in Leek, Staffordshire, England was born Anna Rose Watkins MBE, a world champion in double-sculls rowing.

Her rowing career shows the importance of college-level rowing as a way into the sport for those who didn't participate before the university level.

This is a sport I participated in at Oxford–without no such stellar collegiate record. My  post-collegiate rowing was limited to leisure and alumni-fun events but my late friend Peter Darrow rowed seriously long after he took his degree at Oxford.

Watkins went from college rowing at Cambridge to a gold medal in the double sculls in the Olympics (London, 2012). Watkins with Katherine Grainger broke the Olympic record in the semi-final.

At the prior (2008) Olympics she won a bronze in the same sport and won four medals in the World Championships, most recently defending her world title with Katherine Grainger, in Bled, Slovenia in 2011.

Watkins attended Westwood College and read Natural Sciences at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she started rowing in 2001. Watkins rowed with Newnham College Boat Club and was captain of lower boats and then secretary for the club. She represents Leander Club in rowing events. At Cambridge, her college crew were Head of the Cam in 2003 before she moved onto the World Class Start talent identification program run by UK Sport based at Rob Roy Boat Club.

She is currently working for a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Reading. In September 2009 she married Oliver Watkins, a part-time rowing coach, who when they met was working for a Ph.D. in engineering at Cambridge. The couple live in Wokingham, where Oliver works for the McLaren Formula One team as a suspension specialist. Anna has given birth to two boys–William James in 2013 and Richard Dexter in 2015.

In 2010 Watkins with Katherine Grainger had an unbeaten season culminating in their victory at the World Championships in New Zealand. They were named World Rowing Female Crew of the year and also the Sunday Times Women's Sports Team of the year for 2010.

Watkins was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to rowing.

Rowing Awards

Olympic Games
2012 London – Gold, Women's Double Sculls
2008 Beijing – Bronze, Women's Double Sculls
GB Rowing Team Senior Trials
2012 – 2nd, Single Scull
2011 – 1st, Single Scull
World Rowing Championships
2011 Bled – Gold, Double Scull
2010 Lake Karapiro – Gold, Double Scull
2009 Poznań – Silver, Double Scull
2007 Munich – Bronze, Double Scull
2006 Dorney Lake – 4th, Double Scull
2005 Gifu – 5th, Eight World Rowing
Under 23 Championships
2005 – Bronze, Coxless Pair
2004 – Gold, Coulees Four

Other Birthdays (Oxonians Mostly)

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