LONDON, England ● London police say a bronze Olympic medal stolen from field hockey player Hannah Macleod has been returned.
Macleod’s medal, together with one earned by rower Alex Partridge, had been snatched Wednesday from the Mahiki nightclub, where the athletes went following a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II in honor of Britain’s Olympic team.
Macleod and Partridge had publicly appealed for their return. Her medal was mailed anonymously to the England Hockey head office.
Police say the medal is being retained as part of its investigation but will be returned to the athlete shortly.
Police stressed Friday that the hunt is still on for Partridge’s medal and Macleod’s team jacket.
Police say a 31-year-old man had been arrested in the case and was later released on bail.
Rower Alex Partridge is still waiting for the return of his medal.
Earlier Alex Partridge and hockey player Hannah Macleod had appealed for the return of their stolen Olympic bronze medals from London 2012.
Partridge said he was devastated when he realised his blazer, which had the medal in an inside pocket, had gone.
The 31-year-old told BBC Sport: “It’s very, very upsetting. It would mean everything to me to get them back.”
Partridge, whose bronze in the men’s eight followed a silver medal at the Beijing Games in 2008, added: “I worked for 12 years of my life to try to achieve something at the Olympic Games and that’s what I’ve got to show for it.
“While we were out and dancing away, I noticed I’d misplaced my blazer. In the morning, I thought one of the other Olympians must have picked it up by accident, but no-one had it.
“I always say to people ‘it’s not about the medal, it’s about the journey’, but I guess you don’t appreciate the value of it until it’s not there.
“It was only when I picked up my 16-month-old daughter from nursery that it really dawned on me. If it doesn’t come back she won’t see everything I worked for, which was a representation of being in the best British Olympic team and possibly the best Olympics ever.”
Macleod, who won her London 2012 bronze medal with the women’s hockey team, believes the theft was pre-meditated after viewing CCTV footage.
“It looked like a very well done job,” Macleod told BBC Radio 5 live.
“The CCTV footage shows a couple who were acting suspiciously and had done a couple of laps of the bar, scoping things out prior to approaching our group.”