February 18, 2018, by brzmjb1
BUCS Nationals | Super Sunday Review : Green and Gold win double gold in badminton taking the total Championship medal tally to 11
Li Lian Yang successfully defended her BUCS Nationals 2017 badminton singles title by beating Lydia Cheah in straight sets. Yang followed her victory up with another gold in the Mixed doubles alongside fellow UoN Sport scholar Phone Pyae Naing, who also won a bronze himself in the Men’s singles.
The badminton medals didn’t end there, with Men’s doubles pairing Sam Smith(Mathematics & Economics) and Harry Arksey also securing a bronze.
Hayley Mills was just beaten on the line to win a 200m Silver medal in the athletics. Polly Holden added a bronze medal to her tally in the pool and Paralympian Tim Jeffery won bronze in his first BUCS competition.
To round of the Championships, Jack Goody won bronze in the Men’s Senior Kumite -63kgs category leaving University of Nottingham Sport with 11 medals from the Championships.
It was a cold start to the day over at Staveley Shooting Range for the climax of the Short Range shooting, with Paralympian and UoN Scholar, Tim Jeffery (Engineering & Physics Foundation) hoping to medal in his first BUCS Nationals for University of Nottingham.
Since he first took up the sport aged 11, Tim’s ambition was to compete at a Paralympic Games and he achieved this goal when he was selected to ParalympicsGB for Rio 2016.
Tim shoots right handed, due to having his left hand amputated, and was determined to make a success of shooting after hearing people say he would be not be able to. When the action got underway in the first round, Jeffery recorded a result 3 points lower than his qualifying score but he picked himself up and in the final round posted a superb 100 & 97 to win a short range bronze medal for the Green and Gold.
Speaking after the event Jeffery said, “It was a bit rough and I had a few technical issues early on. I’m glad I put at least 2 points on each of my cards to finish in the top three and get the job done properly. I want to beat myself, not anybody else and I’m not particularly fussed where I am in the rankings. I just want to better myself every time I compete. Overall, it’s amazing to win a medal at my first Championships and comeback from the first round. Ultimately I’m focussed on my performance and how I can get better and be the best I possibly can be and I can’t wait to come back next year”.
After representing UoN in the pole vault competition yesterday, Hayley Mills (Phd Mathematics) took to the track on Sunday morning in the 200m and posted a blistering 24.79 prelim time in the Women’s 200m to sail through to the semi-final as the fastest qualifier. With a strong field against her, she posted another great time in the semi’s to qualify for her first competitive 200m final since the British Championships in 2015. Mills only returned to the track in October following a spate of injuries which kept her out of athletics.
In the final, she made a superb start running down the rest of the field and leading on the final bend only to have BUCS Nationals Gold snatched from her at the line. Speaking about her truly remarkable journey and two medals at the Championship she said, “Winning a medal in the 60m gave me a lot of confidence going into today. I took part in the outdoors last year and realised how much I wanted to get back into it. To finally medal after everything is just amazing really, credit to Rory (Team physio) for holding me together this weekend. This is pretty much the end of our competitive season so I’ll get back into training and look to develop from here. I’m so proud I really never imagined this would happen.”
After picking up her Silver Medal in a ceremony last night, Polly Holden (Medical Physiology & Theraputics) added a bronze medal to her tally to crown a memorable maiden Championships. Holden knocked 3 seconds of her personal best in the heat-based 400m freestyle final to return to the podium and medal at Ponds Forge.
Cira Fletcher (Psychology) qualified in her morning heats in the women’s 100m breaststroke and finished in 6th place in her afternoon final, adding to her fantastic performance in yesterday’s Open 50m breaststroke and rounding off a brilliant championship.
Going into Sunday there was also high hopes for the University of Nottingham Badminton team who had 11 competitors still in the running for medals. The atmosphere was fantastic early on, with the seating configuration changed and the introduction of bleacher seats to create show courts brought a new level of noise to the arena at EIS.
In the Women’s Badminton doubles, Emily Witts (Mathematical Sciences) and Tiara Samuel (Law) sadly bowed out early on in a tough match to open Sunday’s action. Meanwhile in the Men’s Badminton Doubles, Sam Smith (Mathematics & Economics) and Harry Arksey (Business school) beat a Loughborough pairing 2-0 to make it to the last 16 and went on to win a bronze medal.
Phone Pyae Naing played in arguably the match of the tournament in a tense and entertaining semi-final against Loughborough’s Sipani in the Men’s singles. The game hung in the balance and it was only at 1-1 and 17-17 in the final set when Sipani made the breakthrough. After crashing heavily into the net during one rally, Sipani got the better of the exchanges in the last 4 games to sneak a 21-19 victory.
Around lunchtime, Phone Pyae Naing returned to the court following his defeat alongside Li Lian Yang and the pairing made it look easy as they headed into the semi-final, securing at very least a bronze medal in the Mixed doubles. Much to the delight of the spectators on court, the duo subsequently went on to win Gold when the competition reached its conclusion. The pair came from 7 points behind to win the first set 22-20 and dominated the final set 21-15 to win another BUCS National Gold on Super Sunday.
Two former BUCS Badminton champions, Lydia Cheah (2016 Champion) and University of Nottingham’s Li Liang Yang met in the Women’s Singles final on court one in front of a packed crowd at EIS. The highly anticipated final didn’t disappoint with both women trading smashes early on. Li Liang managed to stay ahead of the scoring and after a combative first set she settled into her rhythm and won in convincing fashion to retain her BUCS Nationals Gold medal.
There was fencing action at the Graves Tennis Centre, with Uon Scholar Alexander Jones (Mathematics) in competition. Jones, who picked up foil fencing at 8 years old has been involved with Great Britain U17 cadets squad competing all over Europe. He dominated his poule in the Men’s Foil, qualifying as the 4th seed and headed into L128 with confidence but his great run was ended in the last 32 as he met stiff opposition from a Latvian international fencer.
In the men’s Karate, Jack Goody (Medicine), fought his way to a Karate bronze medal after defeating his opponent from NTU in the Men’s Senior Kumite -63kgs category adding to the medal tally.
There was Judo action at the ICE Sheffield Centre, and whilst the women’s team didn’t progress past the pool there was success for the Men’s team who fought through to the quarter finals. Sadly the draw wasn’t in their favour and they came up against a strong Bath team with a number of GB internationals on display. After a resilient display from the Green and Gold Team Bath unfortunately won 3-2 sending them out of the competition.
With the curtain coming down on 3 days of competition the University of Nottingham Sport team will be delighted with their achievements. After 129 athletes took to the biggest student sport stage, the Green and Gold managed to win a total of 2 Gold medals, 2 Silver medals and 7 bronze medals including a list of personal bests and outstanding performances to round off a brilliant BUCS Nationals 2018.
Attention will now turn to BUCS Big Wednesday, the end of the road for the BUCS team sports, with 52 matches set to be hosted by University of Nottingham at David Ross Sports Village and other Nottingham venues on 21st March 2018.
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