February 18, 2017, by Joseph Tanner

BUCS Nationals 2017 – Friday Review

The University of Nottingham have made a promising start to the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) National Championships in Sheffield. Hundreds of UoN students made the short journey north up the M1 on a crisp Friday morning to compete in the Championships against 6000 students from universities across the United Kingdom this weekend (17th – 19th February).

There were some fantastic performances for the university on the first day of Nationals action as badminton, athletics, fencing and swimming were on the agenda at the EIS (English Institute of Sport Sheffield) as well as various locations across Sheffield’s city centre.

One of the green and gold’s stars to watch at the nationals is athletics scholar Tatum Souza. She qualified for the shotput final as the American targets heptathlon gold in Sheffield. Despite missing out on a place on the track for the 60m hurdles final, Souza remains highly optimistic of her chances in South Yorkshire this weekend.

The 24 year-old Californian said, “It’s been nice to finally start my finals and yes it’s disappointing not to make the finals but there’s still plenty more events to go. I qualified second in shotput so that event should go pretty well and I hope our relay team can do well also. There’s a massive buzz around the place, all the coaches and athletes are all really caring and concerned with how you are doing. I’ve never been a part of anything quite like the BUCS Nationals, it’s really interesting and keeps you on your toes with not knowing which athletes are going to win heats and races.”

In Badminton, there were defeats for singles players Hilda Ho and Leeshan Punchihewa in the first round of heats along with James Anderson in the second round, while Emily Witts and David Maugham progressed to the final round of mixed doubles qualifying.

Head of Performance Badminton at the university Martyn Lewis is setting his teams’ sights high this weekend, “We have a big squad here this weekend, we’re hoping that every competitor can give their all and then the results will take care of themselves. We have some good chances to get some medals. All of these players who were part of the BUCS weekend go in with the ladies team doing so well in the BUCS leagues and the AJ Bell Final win against Team Derby. It’s all down to the players with their determination and preparation.”

Gold medal hopeful Li Lian Yang (BSc Mathematics and Economics), who featured in that final win for the University of Nottingham’s National Badminton League side, is targeting further glory here on the court in the EIS. Lewis said, “She’s seeded number one, the pressure will no doubt be on her. Li Lian came out on top against last year’s champion from Team Derby in December so she’s in a good position going into the weekend.”

In the fencing at Graves Tennis Centre, Ed Christie (BA Classical Civilisation) and Josh Stevens (Veterinary Medicine) reached the tableau of 32 in the men’s epee. It was also a flying start for our swimming teams in the pool down at Ponds Forge yesterday with a solid opening performance from both the men’s and women’s 4 x 100 metre relay teams who qualified for the B level finals. In doing so, the teams shaved four and six seconds respectively off of their previous times.


UoN Fencing duelling at the Graves Tennis Centre

Saturday offers a full programme of action for the green and gold with athletics, badminton, climbing, fencing, judo, karate, swimming and trampolining on the schedule today.

You can follow the University of Nottingham’s progress in the BUCS Nationals on our Twitter, Facebook and also here. There will also be regular updates on the BUCS official website and social media channels.

Best of luck to all of our athletes competing throughout this weekend!



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