Student and graduate riders lead ParalympicsGB to best ever medal haul at London 2012 Games
4 September 2012
Students and graduates continue to dominate the equine events as Sophie Christiansen, a graduate from the Royal Holloway, University of London became the first triple gold medallist of the London 2012 Paralympic Games taking Great Britain to its best ever Paralympic equestrian medal haul, including five golds.
The 24-year-old added Grade Ia freestyle gold to a team gold medal and individual championship title.
In 2012, Christiansen was awarded a Masters degree in Maths from Royal Holloway University and she currently works part-time as a statistician.
The equestrian continued to be a source of success as University of Lincoln student and international dressage rider Sophie Wells added to her medal haul by scooping silver in the individual freestyle test - grade IV.
Sophie, who is currently deferring studies in Sport and Exercise Science at the University, began the medal rush on Sunday morning.
The 22-year-old took the silver at Greenwich Park behind Belgium's Michele George, a grade IV result that was reversed from the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.
ParalympicsGB then went on to win gold in the equestrian team dressage event.
On Sophie's three medal tally, Robin Wright, Director of Sport at the University of Lincoln, said: "I think it's absolutely awesome. It's a fantastic achievement for Sophie and she has made so many sacrifices to get to this point.
"These are the first medals a student from the University has ever won and is probably the highest Olympic or Paralympic medal tally from someone in Lincolnshire. It's not just an individual performance, she's got to work with a horse and you never know how the animal is going to behave. Sophie is a lovely person and she has worked so hard. Everyone at the University is so proud of her achievements and we are looking forward to welcoming her back."
Born with amniotic band syndrome that affects her joints, Sophie is such an outstanding dressage talent that she has also competed at non-disabled international level.
Also adding to the equestrian success was Open University student Deborah Criddle, who won her third medal, taking silver in individual freestyle test - grade III.
Earlier, Danielle Brown, a law graduate from the University of Leicester won gold at archery, in the women's individual compound, beating off fellow British athlete Mel Clarke, a former City College Norwich student who took silver respectively.
Swansea University student David Smith, along with his teammates Daniel Bentley, Nigel Murray, Zoe Robinson, won bronze at boccia, mixed team - BC1-2.
By Tara Saghafi
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