English Literature graduate, Melissa Wilson (2011) has ranked sixth in the A Final of the Women’s quadruple scull (W4x) at this year’s World Rowing Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.
Along with the W4x crew – Jess Leyden, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne and Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne – Melissa qualified the GB boat for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. It was an agonisingly close repechage; Poland claimed their lead early on, leaving the USA as the crew GB had to beat. They secured their place in the Olympics by less than one second! “It is really exciting and a great relief to have qualified the boat,” said Melissa.
The Caian, who learnt to row at Caius and gained four rowing blues during her time at Cambridge, will need to be selected by GB through the trials this year to confirm her place at the Olympics. Her rowing career already includes three A-finals at the World Rowing Championships and fourth place as part of Team GB in the European Rowing Championships last year.
She said, “There is no way that I’d have begun rowing (or any other sport) if it hadn’t been for coming to Cambridge, and I couldn’t have been part of a more supportive or driven club than CBC.”
Photographs: Nick Middleton