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Anna Watkins MBE
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Anna raced in the women's double scull with Katherine Grainger. The duo won a fantastic gold medal, finishing over 2 seconds ahead of Australia. Anna was awarded the MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours list.
Anna and Katherine Grainger were named as 2012 World Rowing Female Crew of the Year by FISA.
Anna is an Olympic bronze medallist and reigning World Champion in the women’s double scull, a former World U23 Champion and a product of the GB Rowing Team's Start Programme, sponsored by Siemens.
During the 2012 World Cup season Anna raced in the women's double scull with Katherine Grainger winning gold at all 3 World Cups
At the 2012 GB Rowing Team Senior Trials held on 10/11 March at Eton/Dorney, Anna came 2nd in the women's single scull.
At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Anna and crewmate Katherine Grainger maintained their title as World Champions by leading their race from the start. Australia took silver and New Zealand the bronze.
Anna returned from injury in time to compete at the 2011 World Cup in Lucerne where she won gold in the women's double scull with Katherine Grainger.
At the 2011 GB Rowing Team Senior Trials held on 16-17 April at Eton/Dorney, Anna won the women's single scull in a time of 7:31.01, breaking her crewmate in the double Katherine Grainger's winning streak of six previous titles.
Anna and crewmate Katherine Grainger in the women's double scull were named 2010 World Rowing Female Crew of the Year. The duo, coached by Paul Thompson, were described by the sport's governing body as the "perfect combination" and were praised for winning their world title in "dominating style" at the 2010 World Championships in New Zealand.
Unbeaten all year in the women's double scull, at the 2010 World Championships on Lake Karapiro, Anna and Katherine Grainger played their role as favourites to perfection, taking the lead from the start and winning gold with a superb effort, over five seconds ahead of second placed Australia with Poland in the bronze position.
For the 2010 World Cup series Anna raced in two boat classes, the women's double scull with Katherine Grainger, and also the women's quad in tandem with Beth Rodford and Annabel Vernon for all three events. In Bled Anna took gold in both races, in Munich she won gold in the double and silver in the quad and in Lucerne again won gold in both boats. An amazing achievement, bearing in mind that she had not much more than an hour to recover between races each time.
Anna has spent almost all of her career rowing in the double scull, with a variety of partners. She has progressed steadily through the placings in that event, beginning with her painful fourth place in the 2006 season and then improving by one position at each successive World Championships so that she became a World Champion for the first time in 2010.
In 2006 she raced in the women's double with Annabel Vernon, winning a gold at the World Cup in Munich, taking 4th at Poznan and a silver in Lucerne before finishing 4th at the World Championships at Eton, In August 2006.
In 2007 Anna won a bronze medal in the double with Elise Laverick at the World Championships in Munich.
In 2008, again racing with Elise Laverick, Anna claimed an Olympic bronze in the tightest finish of the Olympic regatta behind New Zealand and Germany. Just 0.23s separated the first three crews. This race remains the closest any British oarswomen have got to an Olympic gold medal and came at the end of a particularly difficult season where Anna struggled to recover from glandular fever.
In 2009 Anna raced in the double with 2006 partner Annabel Vernon, taking silver at the World Championships in Poznan, behind gold medallists Poland with Bulgaria third. This followed a gold medal gained at the Banyoles World Cup and a bronze in Munich. She also raced in the quad in Banyoles, winning another gold.
Anna's early days in the British team were spent in sweep rowing. Her first vest was in the U23 four in 2004 in Poznan where she became U23 World Champion. The following year she raced in the U23 pair (3rd) and then made her senior debut at the World Championships in Japan where she came 5th.
Her success at U23 level was notable as it came less than a year after her starting to row competively. Anna is a graduate of GB Rowing Team's Start Programme, which she joined in summer 2003. She was coached by Adrian Cassidy and quickly made an impact.
Anna attended Westwood High School in Leek. She began rowing recreationally at Newnham College Cambridge in 2001, aged 18. She chose the sport because she wanted to get fit and a friend had told her she was ' built for rowing'. Her coaches at the college, Tim Granger and Michael Gifford, encouraged Anna to try to fulfill her potential in the sport and inspried her to try out for the Start scheme.
Anna graduated from Cambridge in the summer of 2005 and moved south to train full time with the GB women's squad. She got married in the autumn of 2009 and will row under her married name from now on. As well as being a talented rower Anna is studying for a PhD in mathematics and lives in a run-down house in Wokingham which she is trying to make habitable in her free time.
Anna is Lottery Funded through UK Sport.