Two former University of Maryland student-athlete standouts ascended the Olympic podium this week, with both taking bronze in their sports at the Tokyo Games.
Field hockey player Grace Balsdon, competing for Team Great Britain, contributed three goals in her first Olympic campaign, including one in the bronze-medal match that her squad won, 4-3, against India.
In her only season at UMD, Balsdon established herself as one of the best defenders in program history. She was named first team All-Big Ten, Big Ten defender of the year and a third team All-American by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. With Great Britain, she competed on the U18, U21, World Cup and Commonwealth teams.
Women’s basketball player Diandra Tchatchouang, representing France, appeared in three games in Tokyo, with the team ultimately defeating Serbia, 91-76, in the third-place contest.
The forward, who has been playing international basketball since 2007 and was crowned most valuable player of the U16 European Championship, was named to the All-ACC Freshman team during the 2009-10 season at Maryland and averaged 10.1 points and 5.2 rebounds during her two-season Terp career.
Balsdon and Tchatchouang are two of six Terps who made it to Tokyo. The others are: Nike Lorenz, a Team Germany field hockey player; Abby Gustaitis ’13, a Team USA rugby player; Thea LaFond ’15, a Team Dominica triple jumper; and Chioma Onyekwere ’16, a Team Nigeria discus thrower.
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