February 16, 2019, by brzmjb1

BUCS Nationals 2019 | Super Saturday Roundup | Goldrush at the Games for the Green and Gold

The beginning of Super Saturday saw the introduction of the Judo and the Karate to the range of medal opportunities for UoN Sport. The challenge had already been set the previous evening, with a plethora of outstanding performances including multiple PB’s and a Gold medal for Hayley Mills in the 60m.

That challenge was duly accepted and never wanting to shy away from a fight, the Judo and Karate teams well and truly turned up!

Gold for Alan England, in the Judo -81kg, Gold for Karate mixed team Kata, Gold for Lauren Fretwell in the Women’s Senior Kata, Gold for Dylan Travis in the Men’s Senior Kata and that was only just the beginning…

Super Saturday began with the beginning of the Judo Championships held at ICE Sheffield, a short walk from the English Institute of Sport.

Ebonnie Bridges headed into Saturday with her disqualification from 2018 burning in her memory. The fairytale start to her maiden BUCS National journey was sadly cut short last year with the officials penalising Bridges for a head dive, effectively ending her run in the competition.  Her 2017 disappointment merely added fuel to her fire as she tore through qualification to secure her first medal for University of Nottingham, a bronze in the -u63kg.

Dan Richardson took bronze in the U-100kg category after doing enough in his poule of four to win yet another medal.

Inspired, Adam Watson stepped up to beat last year’s bronze medallist in the Semi-final of the individual -90kgs to win his first BUCS Silver medal.

Then it was over to the Captain!

UoN Men’s Judo Captain, Alan England, battled his way through the early rounds relatively unscathed but knew he faced a tough oppenent when he was drawn against former Olympian and World Cup medallist, Emmanuel Nartey, in the individual U-81kg semi final.

Despite a tense opening few seconds, England pulled off a monster Ippon to jubilant scenes at the ICE arena, with the fellow Green and Gold competitors lining  up in the stands to roar Alan to victory in his final BUCS Nationals.

With the top seed duly dispatched, England went on to record an historic Gold medal in his final bout for University of Nottingham – a remarkable achievement in a tough field and thoroughly well deserved.

Adam Watson during the Men’s -90kg Judo at BUCS Nationals 2019, Sheffield


The first karate medal of the day was a Gold in the mixed team kata, a team comprising of Dylan Traves, Matt Dowling and Lauren Fretwell.

In the individual senior kata, there were high hopes for Life Sciences Biology masters student Lauren Fretwell, having showcased her talent  by  recently winning a bronze at the Junior European Championships in Bulgaria. The first year scholar confidently made her way to the final where she would be met by an opponent from Manchester Met University. Despite the considerable pressure, Fretwell remained focused and secured her second gold of the day in her first BUCS Nationals. Speaking after her final she said,

“I have set the bar as high as possible, now I want to come back and win gold every year I am at university of Nottingham for my team. I love my karate team they are always supporting me and have made settling into university so much easier- I am so happy I am here!”

The journey to the kata final was similar for Dylan Traves, he remained composed in his final performance and chose his kata strategically to secure his second gold of the day.

Head Karate Coach, Sonny Roberts, said,

“We’ve gone and won 3 gold medals so its been a great first day. There are still improvements to be made ahead of tomorrows competition. We are hoping to have some more medals in the kumite tomorrow, they just need to get their heads together and remember everything we have done in preparation. I have got belief in them, it now time for them to believe in themselves.”

Lauren Fretwell preparing for the Women’s Senior Kata at BUCS Nationals 2019, Sheffield

Men’s Sabre
All 6 of the Men’s Sabre  registered strong poule qualification scores to rank in the top 40 for the knockouts stages.

Competing at his first championships UoN Scholar and Olympian, Marius Braun, managed to work his way through the field of 107 fencers to the last 16 where he was beaten 15:12 by Nathan Potter. Braun will compete with his weapon of choice in the Men’s Foil on Sunday morning.

Women’s Foil

There were 6 Green and Gold entrants in the Woman’s foil with Cara Chambers manging to reach the last 32.

UoN Scholar Amber Moss progressed through to the last 16 from a tough field of 64, but it was fellow scholar, Serena Patel who progressed the furthest in the competition.

Patel came within touching distance of the medals after a bye in the last 64, however she met her match in Arianna Balestrieri where she lost 15:7 to finish 5th in the competition – a brilliant achievement to have gone so deep in such a talented field.


Women’s Singles

The current championship holder, Li Lian Yang ensured safe passage to the semi-finals without dropping a single game to kick start her singles campaign. She will meet Kirby Ngan in tomorrow’s final four eliminator after she beat UoN qualifier Hilda Ho (21-10 21-6).

Men’s Singles
In the Men’s singles, Johnny Torgusson got his BUCS Nationals Championship underway by defeating Callum Buck in straight sets (21-10 21-16). After a strong start his promise turned to points as the Nottingham student steamed through Pack Chongand and David Jones to set up a cracking semi-final against the faultless Sam Parsons on Sunday at EIS.

2018 semi-finalist, Phone Pyae Naing, looked comfortable throughout most of the morning session but was made to work hard in the afternoon, coming back from a set down against Joshua Apiliga to win 2-1.

Unfortunatly, Naing failed to progress from this point and was eventually beaten by an impressive and deserved performance from Henley Ngan (22-20 21-17).

John Torjussen on his way to the Badminton Men’s Singles semi-finals at BUCS Nationals 2019, Sheffield

Women’s Doubles

Emily Westwood paired up with the mercurial Li Lian Yang in the Women’s doubles in the evening sessions to clear a safe passage into the final beating She Zihan/Xu Alice (21-1621-12). Ka Kei Chien/Emily Witts and Serena Midha/Tiara Samuel also went through to Sunday’s knockout quarter-finals.

Men’s Doubles
It was an all UoN affair in the first round Dan Blair and his partner Leon Griffiths as they beat fellow Nottinghamstudents  Ching Kwan Clinton / Yu Hin Derek Choi to progress.

The pairing son David Maughan / Lorenzo Sacco and  Sam Smith/ James Youle also put in solid performances to ensure they are returning for action on the final day on Sunday.

Mixed Doubles
Playing late into the evening, the pairing of Phone Naing/Emily Westwood performed well to win 21-13 21-15. Sam Smith/Serena Midha were in trouble after losing the first set in their round match with George Priestman and Devon Minnis. Having lost a close first set they saw of handled considerable pressure in the second a clawed a game back and carried that moment on to rally and come from behind to qualify for the semi-finals.


After a late night in pool yesterday, Cira Fletcher started the morning heats off at Ponds Forge by swimming the 50m breaststroke in 33.83 seconds, which was enough to earn a place in the evenings A final. It was here that she swam faster with an improved time of 33.73 seconds,  to record a 7th  place overall finished. Cira also swam in the more familiar 200m breaststroke final where she placed 6th with a time of 2.39.56.

When UoN Para-Scholar, Oludaisi Adefisan took to the pool at Ponds Forge you could probably have forgiven him for being a little nervous, not only competing in his first long course BUCS Nationals event for Green and Gold but also competing in a mixed category. Neither phased him, not in the slightest and he registered a 50m Freestyle time of 28.33 seconds to secure a bronze medal in a mixed-para category.

Before he took to the pool he said,

“I have been struggling in training with a niggling shoulder, but I have warmed up well and I am feeling good today. I am going into the race open minded as it’s my first long course nationals however I am enjoying the professional feel of the Nationals so far. There’s a number of people I have train with in my category so I can see it getting competitive as training often is!”

At her first BUCS nationals, 2nd year languages student, Elouise Montana broke a personal best in the 50m breaststroke. In the heats she swam a new personal best a whole 2 seconds faster than her old one! Her new PB is now 29.4 seconds!

An ecstatic Elouise said,

“Since coming to University I have been working on speed training which has really helped! I haven’t competed in a while but now I am back I just want to get back in the pool to train for another competition!” before leaving  so she could contact her family group whatsapp to tell them the good news!

After a rocky season due to injury, Courtney Price, competed for the first time in 2 years in the 200m backstroke. She came back from injury in style and confidently secured a place in the final after qualifying with the 5th fastest time in the heats.  In the final she got her personal best position at BUCS, coming 4th against a strong field.

Courtney will swim in the 100m Backstroke tomorrow.

Courteney Price during the 200m Backstroke (Women’s) at BUCS Nationals 2019, Sheffield


On the track there were a number of notable performances and PB including a clear route to the final for Kirandeep Marsh who ran away from the rest of the field in her heat to qualify in first place and book a spot in tomorrow’s 3000m final.

UoN Sport Scholar Men’s 4 x 200m sprinters including Michael Jones, Matthew Mansfield, George Wadsworth and Makun Madar. Speaking to UoN Sport after the race Makun said,

“That was fantastic, to finish in the way we did was just electric. We noticed the other teams struggled on transition and we stayed focussed and smooth. We have worked so hard to get it right and its just all came together”

“We’re hopeful that we will progress and fingers crossed we can get the university record and earn a spot in the finals tomorrow.”

Makun Madar during the 4 x 200m at BUCS Nationals 2019, Sheffield

Team Green and Gold will head into Sunday’s final on a high, buoyed by the outstanding performances on Super Saturday which secured 8 medals.

The tally now stands at 9, just 2 shy of last year’s record-breaking Championships and with the badminton finals still to come, things are warming up nicely.

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

BUCS Nationals Medal Tally (as of close Day 2)

Gold – Hayley Mills – 60m Sprint
Gold – Alan England – u81kg Individual Judo
Gold – Mixed Team kata – Karate
Gold – Lauren Fretwell – Women’s Senior kata
Gold – Dylan Traves – Men’s Senior Kata

Silver – Adam Watson – 90Kg Individual Judo

Bronze – Ebonnie Bridges -U63kg Individual Judo
Bronze – Dan Richardson -U100kg Individual Judo
Bronze – Oludaisi Adefisan – Freestyle swimming

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