Millfield at the Tokyo Olympics
A total of 13 athletes flew to Toyko to compete for their countries in the 2020 Olympic Games (held in Summer 2021 due to the Covid pandemic). Nine athletes represented Team GB, one for Kenya, Denmark, Brunei and Hong Kong.
In swimming, James Guy, Kieran Bird, Brodie Williams, Suzanna Hext (paralympics), Muis Ahmad, Danilo Rosafio were selected for their respective countries, which is the largest number of swimmers the school has ever seen at an Olympic Games. James Guy came home with two golds and a silver medal, making him the joint ninth most successful athlete at the games.
Joining the swimmers were Helen Glover and Rory Gibbs competing on the water for the GB rowing Team. Oscar Coggins was a member of the Hong Kong triathlon team, Jaz Sawyers competed in long jump for Team GB, Tazana Kamanga-Dyrbakand represented Denmark in the 4x100m and both Alec Coombes and Ollie Lindsay-Hague were selected for the GB rugby sevens team.
Alec Coombes played in the GB Rugby Sevens team at his first Olympic Games.
Alec attended Millfield Prep School from Year 8 and continued through the Senior School until Upper Sixth, leaving in 2014. Since leaving Millfield, Alec made his debut in the U20 Scotland National Rugby Sevens team and has been a core player ever since.
Somerset-born Brodie took part in his first games as a Team GB swimmer. Brodie won gold at the 2018 European Aquatics Championships in the 4 x 100m medley relay. He aims to improve on the performances during the trials and enjoy all that competing in the Olympic games has to offer.
Brodie started at Millfield in Year 10 to further his swimming career and left in 2017. He worked closely with Director of Swimming Euan Dale, who nurtured him when he arrived from local school, Crispin Academy. Brodie’s recent performance at the European Aquatic Championships was a promising competition ahead of his Olympic campaign.
Recent leaver Danilo was the youngest, at 19, in the cohort of Old Millfieldians representing his home country of Kenya at Tokyo. Danilo joined Millfield for Sixth Form to further his swimming aspirations and trained under Director of Swimming, Euan Dale. Danilo competed in 1500m Freestyle.
Double Olympic champion and world champion Helen Glover is always one to watch when she hits the international stage. Throughout her competitive years of rowing, she has gained a reputation as one of the world’s greatest all-round athletes.
Helen represented Great Britain at the Olympics for the first time at London 2012 with Heather Stanning in the coxless pairs event and not only won Team GB’s first gold of the games but also a first-ever gold for a Great Britain’s women’s boat at any Olympic Games.
The rowing star continued to Rio’s Olympic Games in 2016 and won a successive gold medal. Helen was awarded a sports scholarship from Millfield School and attended from 2002-2004.
Reigning British Long Jump Champion Jazmin Sawyers competed in her second Olympic Games. Jaz attended Millfield from 2010-2012 and was a talented all-round student who excelled in sport, the arts and academics.
In recent years Jaz has achieved a long list of titles including European Junior Champion in 2013, European U23 Champion in 2015, IAAF World Junior Champion in 2014, Commonwealth Silved Medalist in 2016 and 8th place in the Rio Olympic games in 2016. Jaz has also held the British title for long jump for two years running.
World Champion James Guy is no stranger to the Olympic stage. James represented Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics, bringing home two silver medals in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay and 4 x 100m freestyle relay, and finishing fourth in the individual 200m freestyle race. Later that year he helped defend his men’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay world title and he swam the butterfly leg at the World Aquatics Championships to gain gold for Great Britain in the 4 x 100m medley relay.
James relocated to Somerset from Bury, Lancashire in order to pursue his swimming aspirations at Millfield Prep School and Millfield. During his time at school he benefited from expert coaching and was introduced to the national and international stage.
Kieran attended Millfield from 2016-2018 to realise his Olympic dream. Originally from Oxfordshire, Kieran boarded in Somerset throughout Sixth Form to benefit from the world-class training facilities and programme on offer, seldom seen at any other school in the country.
This was Kieran’s first appearance at a games. Now training at the University of Bath, Kieran has worked to fulfil a lifetime dream.
Kieran’s recent performance at the European Aquatic Championships showed great potential for Olympic success.
Tokyo was Muis’ very first Olympic Games and he competed for Brunei in swimming.
Muis attended Millfield from 2014-2016 where he excelled in swimming and achieved excellence at the highest level.
Muis holds a record in 50m breaststroke and will be competing in the event at Tokyo.
Director of Swimming, Euan Dale said, “Muis is a talented swimmer and individual. He immersed himself in life at Millfield, especially the swimming programme and trained hard to reach the highest level. He was a great student to teach and I am looking forward to watching him in Tokyo. Good luck Muis.”
Ollie Lindsay-Hague attended his second Olympic Games as part of the GB Rugby Sevens team .
Ollie attended Millfield from 2004-2009 as a keen schoolboy rugby player and captain of the school’s rugby sevens team. After Millfield, Ollie began to play for Harlequins and the England Sevens teams.
Tokyo was Oscar’s very first Olympic Games and he competed for Hong Kong in the triathlon.
Oscar attended Millfield from 2016-2018 and took advantage of the ever-growing triathlon programme at the school with hopes to make it to the highest level.
As a young athlete, Oscar won the Junior Elite Asian Championships twice. In recent years he won the Elite Men ITU Asian Cups and in 2018 Oscar competed for Hong Kong in the Asian Games and National Games of China.
OM Rory Gibbs was part of a pair of former students rowing for Team GB in Tokyo. Twenty seven-year-old Rory joined Millfield in Year 9 through to Upper Sixth where he fell in love with the sport after being introduced to rowing in Sixth Form. After Millfield, he attended Oxford Brookes University where he continued to pursue his rowing career.
He made his first debut for the GB Rowing Team at the U23 World Championships, finishing fifth as part of the men’s eight in 2015 and 2016. He won a gold medal in the coxless four at the 2019 European Rowing Championships and the team then went on to win a bronze medal at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. In the recent European Rowing Championships, Rory came home with a gold medal as part of the four who took the centre spot on the podium in Varese, Italy this April.
Suzanna joined Millfield on a Sixth Form Riding Scholarship from 2005-2007. An accomplished and committed rider, Suzanna started riding at just six years old and eventing seriously from age 13 before joining Millfield. She was competing at two-star level (now CCI***) eventing before a life changing riding accident saw Suzanna undergo numerous operations and two years in and out of hospital. After doctors and nurses stated that she’d never ride again, Suzanna’s grit and determination saw her back in the saddle just two years after her accident, which left her paralysed from the waist down. In 2019, Suzanna swapped the saddle for the swimming pool, claiming a pair of medals (freestyle silver and bronze) at her debut World Para Swimming Championships in London. Suzanna decided to focus her attention to qualify for the Team GB Paralympic swimming team. Tokyo was Suzanna's first Olympic campaign.
Nineteen-year-old Tazana Kamanga-Dyrbak is a Danish sprinter who competed in his first Olympic games.
Tazana attended Millfield from 2018-2019 for his Lower Sixth year. He has represented his country at the 2021 World Athletics Relays, establishing the national record on 4 x 100m and qualifying for Denmark at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He is currently Europe’s fastest Under 20 athlete in the 200m.
Director of Athletics, Alan Richardson, says, “Tazana is a talented and focused young man who was always confident and focused on becoming an Olympian. It has been wonderful to see him progress and achieve his dream in Tokyo. I am sure that, whilst it is his first games, it won’t be his last and that he will perform well. We will be watching and supporting him on his venture in Tokyo."
His houseparent, Richard Owlett, added, “Tazana is a phenomenal individual who made a lasting impact on the house and school. His motivation, leadership and inspiration also made a significant contribution to the success of the junior team in 2019. He was involved in all aspects of school life, was a natural leader and displayed gravitas and presence. Tazana will always acknowledge his roots at Millfield as a significant a positive step on his journey.”
Ones to Watch...
Tamryn - Swimming
Lower Sixth student Tamryn narrowly missed out to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
She represented Great Britain at the European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, swimming a mature second leg to earn gold as part of the 4 x 200m freestyle relay. She has since competed at the European Junior Championships in Rome where she achieved two silver medals and one bronze (individual silver in women’s 200m freestyle, silver in women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, and bronze in women’s 4x100m medley relay).
Tamryn will continue her quest for Olympic success at NC State University next year.
Lucy - Sailing
Promising sailor Lucy D was recently selected for the Royal Yatching Association (RYA) GB Pathway at the age of just 16!
Lucy began sailing at the age of three and joined Millfield as a Scholar in Sixth Form to follow her dream to compete in the Olympic games and pursue a career in sailing.
Renee - Fencing
Year 11 Renee has recently represented Uganda at the World Fencing Championships in the U17 and U20 categories at the tender age of 16.
Former Director of Fencing, Tristan Parris, also a former Olympic coach says, “I am immensely proud to work with Renee and expect her fencing career to continue to develop during her time at Millfield.”
Adam - Swimming
Fifteen-year-old Adam G is an aspiring Olympian!
He has specialised in swimming from a young age, since joining Millfield Prep School in 2017. Adam picked up a gold and silver medal in the British Age Group Championships in 2019 (Nationals).
He has been coached under former Olympic Swimmer and Director of Swimming at Millfield Prep, Helen Gouldby, Millfield’s Euan Dale and current coach, Matt Puddy. He has a huge number of OM Swimmers to look up to including double-Olympic silver medalist, James Guy.
Jami Schlueter - Athletics
Upper Sixth recent leaver and decathlete Jami Schlueter has just earned himself a scholarship for the University of Washington. He was Head Boy during his time at Millfield, and, alongside supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, he was an exceptional advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion at school.
Recent national and international achievements include:
• England Schools International - Long jump/Multi events
• 2019 English Schools 100m hurdles - Bronze
• 2019 English Schools Decathlon - Bronze
• 2018 English Schools Champion – Long jump
• 2018 Schools international medallist in the long jump and indoor multi events
• 2019 Youth nations cup silver in the 110 Hurdles
Lucy-Jane Matthews - Athletics
Recent Upper Sixth leaver Lucy-Jane Matthews joined Millfield in Lower Sixth to pursue a career in Athletics, and she has certainly proven that she is one to watch for the future. Lucy has beaten Sally Gunnell’s British Record in the 100m hurdles and continues to compete for Great Britain on the athletics circuit.
She is continuing her studies and athletics training at the prestigious Loughborough University.