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News / August 26, 2008

Olympic silver for cycling dentist

by Guy Hiscott

An outstanding performance on the cycling track has won Dr Wendy Houvenaghel a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Competing in the Women’s Individual Pursuit, Houvenaghel came first in the qualifying round, and then second in the medal race, winning a silver medal for Great Britain. Houveneghel covered 3,000m in just three minutes and 30.4 seconds: her average speed was an eye-watering 51.3kph.

She shared the podium with teammate Rebecca Romero, who won gold for Great Britain, and Lesya Kalitovska, who gained a bronze medal for Ukraine.

Houvenaghel, 33, was born in Maghera, Derry, and trained as a dentist. She practised in Cornwall, England for years, before making a radical career shift in 2002.

Having competed in the London Marathon, Houvenaghel decided to try cycling, just to do something different. Over six short years, she has risen to the top of her sport, and is currently back in the UK celebrating her Beijing success.