Paralympics medal for Tom Aggar!
September 12, 2016
September 12, 2016
Tom Aggar took bronze in his rowing event at Rio, the third Paralympic Games for the four-times world champion.
Rowing in lane 5, Tom (OE 1995–2002) secured third place behind the winner Ukrainian Roman Poliankskyi in lane 3, who dominated the race from the start, and silver-medallist Erik Horrie, an Australian, in lane 4. He completed the 1,000m of the arms-shoulders single sculls in 4:50:90 and was more than three seconds ahead of American Blake Haxton, who took fourth place in lane 6.
After the race, Tom tweeted: “So yeah that happened earlier!!! What a feeling!”
Headmaster Neil Enright said: “My congratulations go to Tom on his achievement: his consistent dedication to his sport is an inspiring example for our boys.”
Tom is the longest-serving member of the GB Rowing Team para-rowing squad. He made his debut back in 2007, taking gold at the World Rowing Championships of that year. The following year, he made history when he was crowned arms-shoulders men’s single scull Paralympic champion in Beijing, which was the first appearance of rowing as a competitive sport at the games.
Three years of almost unbroken success followed, which included World Championship victories in Poland, New Zealand and Slovenia. However, at London 2012, he had to settle for fourth place in a tough race.
In the past two years, he has enjoyed fresh triumphs, taking gold at the World Cup in 2014 at Aiguebelette, France, and then silver at the World Championships in Amsterdam. Tom, who is Lottery-funded through UK Sport, also enjoyed a strong 2015 season, winning bronze at the World Cup and silver again at the World Championships, which were held in Aiguebelette.
Tom’s bronze was one of a total haul of 21 medals on day four of the Rio Paralympics, dubbed Super Sunday by the media. It was Britain's best one-day total of the last three Paralympics.
He had qualified for the final by winning the repechage in some style on Saturday 10th September, coming in a full six seconds ahead of Haxton. The final on the following day took place at the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon – a spectacular natural venue in the heart of the city with a backdrop of mountains, Tijuca national forest and Christ the Redeemer statue.
Besides Poliankskyi, Horrie and Haxton, Tom’s fellow finalists were China’s Cheng Huang and Brazilian Rene Pereira.
Tom is a graduate of the University of Warwick and played 1st XV rugby there. He was also a member of the Saracens FC development squad. He started rowing as part of the rehabilitation programme he undertook after an accident in 2005 unconnected with sport that left him paralysed. Tom and his wife, Vicki, celebrated the birth of their son, Daniel, in 2013.