Vicky Holland today became the first University of Bath-based sportsperson to be officially selected for Tokyo 2020 after being named in the Team GB triathlon squad for next summer’s rescheduled Olympic Games.
It will be a third Games for the 34-year-old, who made history at Rio 2016 when she bagged a brilliant bronze to become the first female triathlete to win an Olympic medal for Great Britain.
Shortly after the Games, Holland moved her training base to the Team Bath Sports Training Village – home to the newly-established British Triathlon Bath National Performance Centre – and has gone on to enjoy even more success on the international stage.
She was crowned as the 2018 ITU World Series Champion, just months after winning mixed team relay silver with England at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and also claimed a bronze medal at the Olympic Games test event in Tokyo.
That latter performance was enough to secure early Team GB selection for Holland – confirmed today along with Georgia Taylor-Brown, Jess Learmonth and Jonny Brownlee – and she is confident she can challenge for another medal when she returns to Japan next summer.
“I’m delighted to have been nominated for a third Olympics next year in Tokyo,” she said. “The Olympic Games has always been the driving force behind my athletic career and to have another opportunity to race on the biggest stage of all is something I do not take for granted.
“To have been selected early, as I was ahead of Rio, affords me the opportunity to prepare for Tokyo to the best of my ability and offers me a little certainty in a very uncertain situation.
“I am going to Tokyo absolutely with the intention of trying to perform at a level that delivers another medal. I wouldn’t still be training and part of this team if I didn’t believe I could do that and want to do that.
“We have made the best plan we possibly can for this winter, with the knowledge that things may change and we’ll have to keep rolling with that, but I feel I am in a good position to deliver next year.”
The British Triathlon Bath National Performance Centre comprises of two performance squads – a High Performance Squad and a BUCS Performance Group for students. The programmes are integrated, offering student athletes the opportunity to train and work alongside elite athletes like Holland.
Led by Head Coach Rhys Davey, with the support of South West Academy Director Blair Cartmell, triathletes train on the indoor and outdoor athletics track at the Sports Training Village, in its Olympic-sized London 2012 Legacy Swimming Pool and in the Team Bath Gym & Fitness Centre. They also use running trails, cycling routes and tracks in and around Bath and Somerset. Find out more about triathlon by visiting teambath.com/triathlon.
Medals have been won by sportspeople based at the Team Bath Sports Training Village at every Olympic Games, summer and winter, for the past 20 years. A number of athletes, judoka, modern pentathletes and swimmers will be bidding to join Holland in securing selection for Tokyo over the coming months – visit teambath.com/Tokyo2020 for more information.
Thanks to the University of Bath Press Office at Matchtight