Anna Watkins MBE is an Olympic Gold medalist and current Olympic record holder after competing in the women’s double scull at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Olympic record was broken during the preliminary heats, with partner Katherine Grainger, in a time of 6:44.33.
Anna was brought up in Leek, Staffordshire, and now lives in Berkshire where she trains at the GB Rowing Team base near Reading. Anna has always been highly motivated, state educated and from a modest background she went on to study Natural Sciences at Newnham College Cambridge. There she found rowing and has competed in all rowing disciplines but has concentrated on the double scull.
In 2004 she had her first taste of gold by winning the U23 World Championships and from then on cemented herself within the GB Olympic team. Anna has been on the podium at every World Championships since 2007. At the Beijing Olympics she won her first Olympic medal with Elise Laverick in a dramatic race. A three boat dash for the line resulted in a photo finish, and Anna took the bronze just 0.3s behind the gold. This at the time was the closest any British woman had got to a rowing Olympic gold medal.
Since then, Anna Watkins has forged a formidable partnership with Katherine Grainger in the double scull and to this day they are undefeated in the double. Anna and Katherine had a storming 2010 culminating in winning Gold at the World Championships in New Zealand. This was repeated in 2011 despite spending the majority of the season battling with a back injury and then contracting norovirus during the World Championship regatta.
They now hold the title of Olympic Champions and Double World Champions. Incredibly the partnership have also won Gold in every World Cup regatta they have entered, the total winning streak currently standing at 23 races over three years.
Anna and Katherine were named World Rowing Crew of the Year as well as Sunday Times Sports Team of the Year in 2010 and they were again nominated in 2011.
Away from the water Anna is a confident, well-spoken and multi-talented individual who combines her training with a PhD in Mathematics. She enjoys sharing her experiences through public speaking and has her own unique perspective on what it takes to succeed.