Sir Chris Hoy MBE to present prizes at Henley Royal Regatta

Four-times Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy MBE will present the prizes at the Henley Royal Regatta this year – following in the footsteps of fellow Olympians Lord Seb Coe and Dame Kelly Holmes who accepted the honour in the past two years.The ten-times world champion track cyclist, who captured the nation’s hearts with his triple gold-medal performances at the 2008 Games in Beijing, will be a guest of the Regatta’s Chairman Mike Sweeney on Sunday and will make a short speech to the guests and spectators as well as handing out the prestigious trophies.And the 2008 BBC Sports Personality of the Year is no stranger to the sport.Amongst his vast collection of international sporting honours, Chris has a silver medal which he won rowing for Scotland in the coxless pairs at the British Championships while he was a teenager.Sir Chris, from Edinburgh, was also a Scottish champion BMX rider before joining his first cycling club in 1992 and breaking into the Great Britain track cycling team four years later.His first world medal came in 1999 and at the Athens Olympics he won gold in the Kilo.  He was forced to switch events after it was dropped from the programme for the Beijing Olympics, but rode to victory in the Keirin, Sprint and Team Sprint to become Scotland’s most successful Olympian and the most successful Olympic male cyclist of all time.Sir Chris will present 19 trophies to international, club, university and schools crews likely to include a number of fellow Olympians.This year’s Regatta, which started on Wednesday, with quarter-finals on Friday and semi-finals on Saturday, features 293 races, featuring a bumper 97 overseas entries.In Olympic qualifying-year, strong international crews from America and Australia, as well as a host of other world and Olympic champions, have chosen Henley as part of their preparation for the World Championships – racing in club colours and rubbing shoulders with the best school and club crews from Great Britain and further afield.The finals start at 11:30am on Sunday and could feature a showdown between World Champions Germany and World silver medallists Great Britain in the Grand Challenge Cup for men’s eights as well as GB Olympic men’s four gold medallists Pete Reed and Andrew Triggs-Hodge in the Silver Goblets and Nickalls’ Challenge Cup for men’s pairs.GB’s top sculler Alan Campbell is also in contention to win the Diamond Challenge Sculls and the GB men’s four, including Tom James from the winning 2008 crew in Beijing, are contesting today’s semi-finals in a strong field in the Stewards’ Challenge Cup. For further information contact the Henley Royal Regatta Press Office on (01491) 572 153 or (01491) 579387