May 9, 2012, by Harry Waddle
Student athletes excel in Olympic Stadium
Three sports bursars led an outstanding effort from The University of Nottingham at the BUCS Visa Outdoor Athletics Championships this weekend.
Held at the 2012 Olympic Stadium in London, 10,000 metre runner Ian Kimpton and high jumper Isobel Pooley secured gold medals, while Kike Oniwinde secured a bronze in a highly competitive women’s javelin competition.
Tom Crowley (3,000 metre Steeple Chase), Josh Bull (5,000 metres), Aby Lazenby (800 metres), Will Page (high-jump), Jon Baxter (100 metres) and Laura Day (5,000 metres) completed a good Championship for the Athletics Club after achieving personal bests in front of a bumper crowd.
Over 45,000 people watched 1,500 students battle for medals in 40 events across four days of intense competition, as the championships were used as a test event ahead of the Olympics this summer.
Following a successful weekend, Olympic hopeful Isobel Pooley said: “To be crowned BUCS Champion in front of a packed Olympic stadium was one of the most memorable moments of my life so far. The Olympic Park is very impressive overall and the athletics stadium is no exception – the circular shape manages to make it feel fairly intimate despite the massive scale.
“When it was my turn to jump in front of the huge crowd I was surprised at how nervous I felt – but the moment I cleared my first bar, I started to really enjoy the attention and was buzzing from the crowd’s support. On my final jump, the entire crowd were clapping and cheering me on which was a completely surreal experience and a huge boost in confidence. I’m still glowing with pride and excitement and am so grateful to The University of Nottingham and to BUCS for giving me this incredible opportunity.”
Meanwhile on the water, the University Rowing crews also had a superb weekend, making a dozen Finals at the British Universities Regatta in Nottingham. The Boat Club eventually came away from the event with three medals in the Lightweight categories.
Afterwards, Director of Sport Dan Tilley said: “Clearly the Olympic stadium was an inspirational facility with six athletes achieving PBs and with three of the sports scholars securing medals. Whilst the rowing triumphs are notable due to the rapid progression of the novice rowers to a competitive standard and our continued success in the lightweight categories.
“The University recognises the value that such athletes can bring to the institution both in terms of being inspirational role models as well as university ambassadors. In order to attract such athletes to Nottingham, the University is looking to engage with elite standard coaches and develop world class facilities to match our rivals, and ultimately provide an environment in which the athlete can achieve their sporting potential alongside their academic potential.”
Following a successful season and a good showing at events this weekend, The University now look set to retain an overall top ten finish in the National University Sports Rankings for another year.
To find out more about sport at the University, visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport
Image by Doug Harding Photography