Commonwealth Games: Sophie Unwin left in tears after not being awarded bronze medal despite third-place finish

England’s Sophie Unwin has been fined for protesting against a decision to not award her a Commonwealth Games bronze medal despite finishing third.

The tandem B sprint had four entries and rules say only gold and silver medals will be issued in such cases.

Para-cyclist Unwin and pilot Georgia Holt borrowed bronze medals from team-mates Laura Kenny and Josie Knight to pose for photographs on the podium.

But the pair have each been fined by cycling’s governing body, the UCI.

The 200 Swiss francs fine has also been issued to England’s cycling team manager Keith Reynolds. The UCI stated the fine was for “failure to respect the instructions of the commissaire/organiser”.

However, BBC Sport understands this is an active issue and Team England is engaged in “high-level” discussions with the Commonwealth Games Federation and want the medal decision overturned.

It is also understood the issue was an agenda item at a CGF Board meeting on Saturday.

A CGF spokesperson said: “In the small number of cases where there are fewer than five entries in a Commonwealth Games event, the CGF applies a medal allocation policy to maintain the integrity of competition.

“The policy – which was published in January this year – states that only gold and silver medals are awarded where there are only four contestants; and only gold medals where there are only three or two contestants.

“Unfortunately, while the athletes in the women’s tandem B sprint event were informed of this before the race, the scoreboard and results sheet incorrectly indicated that it was a bronze medal race. We apologise to the athletes involved for the inadvertent distress this has caused.”

Five teams originally entered the tandem B sprint event but only four started.

England’s Unwin and Holt beat Scotland’s Libby Clegg and pilot Jenny Holl in what was called the bronze-medal final on Friday. They were displayed as bronze medal winners on the big screens inside the velodrome in London.

However, they were later denied access to the medal ceremony.

Unwin and Holt protested by holding up an England flag behind the podium before being asked to move by security.

Later, while posing for photographs on the empty podium, they visibly wiped away tears as the crowd spotted them, rising to their feet in applause.

Unwin, 28, won Paralympic road race silver and individual pursuit bronze in Tokyo last summer.

Leave a Comment