February 20, 2022, by brzmjb1
BUCS Nationals 2022 – Super Sunday Round-up
BUCS Nationals 2022 – Sunday Round-up
Sunday brought a close to the 2022 BUCS National Championship and with it a chance to reflect on some fantastic student sporting stories and achievements.
Despite being an individual competition, over the past 3 days University of Nottingham student-athletes across Athletics, Badminton, Swimming, Fencing and Climbing have come together as one team.
We’ve had medals (8 of them!), personal bests, heartbreaks, upsets and injuries and we’ve loved every second along the way.
There was still time on the final day to register some special moments and build on a Championships which will be remembered as much for students returning to compete together again as it will for the records that fell.
On day three of the BUCS Nationals, it was the University of Nottingham Badminton club who were in action first at 8.45, despite being one the last sports to finish on the Saturday evening. With the day going straight into the knockouts, the pressure was building from the off.
Looking forward to the day ahead, University of Nottingham Badminton Head Coach Martyn Lewis said “the team are very prepared, but I just hope that they are looking forward to playing and competing. It’s a big day of matches, with big singles later and hopefully our players will be proud of themselves by the end of the day. A tough day with the amount of matches for us to play, but we’re prepared and know what to expect.”
The day started with the doubles tournament and despite disappointment for Nathan Rossiter and Emily Robinson in the mixed doubles, Sam Smith and Sian Kelly progressed with a 2 sets to 0 win against Edinburgh’s pair of Atterbury and Harrison. Meanwhile the Nottingham pairs of Tash Lado and Rachel Woods, and Victoria Liang and Aimie Whiteman in the women’s doubles both came up against strong University of Loughborough outfits, losing both contests 2-0.
Johnnie Torjussen and Sam Smith received a welcome bye in the men’s doubles round of 16 to ease the fixture congestion for our top male player, but it was a different story for David Hong and Perry Ng who had to face the top seeded Loughborough pair of Green and Moore. Unfazed, the Nottingham pair put on the display of the day up to that point by winning comfortable 2-0! Coach Lewis mentioned after the match had finished that “the guys played really well, and I was hoping for a win but I didn’t expect a 2-0 score against a good Loughborough duo.” Spurred on by this victory on court nearby was the #GreenandGold’s Victoria Liaing and Aimie Whiteman in the women’s doubles, who went on to defeat another Loughborough team of Guo and Reyes, also winning in a fairly comfortable two sets. The two however would eventually fall at the round of 16.
Moving through into the business end of the competitions, there was a large #GreenandGold presence with Johnnie Torjussen and Kirby Ngan reaching both the singles finals, as well as the doubles finals with partners Sam Smith and Sian Kelly respectively. On their route to the doubles final, Torjussen and Smith knocked out teammates Hong and Ng who had a very strong tournament. However, before taking on Bath’s pair in the doubles final, Torjussen had to first try and defend his BUCS Nationals crown. In a final against Manchester’s in which he was never really out of control, Torjussen took both sets to become the first champion on the day for the University of Nottingham and back to back Men’s Singles champ! Taking place right after the men’s final was the women’s which saw Kirby Ngan take on Loughborough’s Pamela Reyes. Unfortunately for Ngan, Reyes was too strong and took the match two sets to love, meaning that Ngan took home an individual silver after a brilliant tournament.
After a short while to recover for Torjussen, he again took to the court with teammate Sam Smith who was aiming for his first BUCS Nationals Gold. Smith proved to be a fantastic complement for Torjussen as he had all tournament, and the pair took an 15-8 lead. Sensing they could close the first set, the pace was swiflty upped by the Nottingham pair who rattled off points, claiming the first set 21-12 with an emphatic smash from Torjussen. The great badminton from Torjussen and Smith continued in the second set and the Bath pair of Jones and Dillingham that they were facing had no answer. At the break they lead 11-5, and play after the break saw much of the same and a seemingly inevitable Men’s Doubles Title for Nottingham on the way with the score 16-6. Moving to 20-7 and match point, it was that man Torjussen again with another smash down the line to claim his second gold of the day, and a first BUCS Nationals gold for Sam Smith!
Whilst the men’s doubles final was taking place, Kirby Ngan had time to recover as much as possible before taking to the court with partner Sian Kelly for their final against Abby Harris and Kiara Henry of Derby. With the Nottingham pair showing some tiredness in the first set, the Derby pair took the first set 21-10. However, the fight shown in the second set by the #GreenandGold was superb and they roared back to take the second set 21-16, setting up a tantalising final set of the day. However, Derby were seemingly unfazed by the second set and opened up a 5-1 lead, before a Nottingham fightback to 5-5 emphasised with a Kelly smash. After the break in the third set the match was poised closely at 11-10, but tiredness began to creep into the Nottingham game and the third set proved to be an obstacle too far for the #GreenandGold pair as Derby claimed the title with a 21-14 set. However, a silver medal for Ngan and Kelly rounded of a momentous day for the University of Nottingham Badminton at BUCS Nationals. With 6 overall medals (2 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze) and a medal in every discipline, the 2022 Nationals will be one to remember.
Speaking to us after after their title wins, Torjussen said “it feels great as it’s my first double title here at BUCS Nationals with both golds. Me and Sam have been at the club together throughout my time at the university so it feels good to win with him. The whole team have been brilliant, particularly the physio’s over a busy weekend!” Smith added, “It feels great, it’s been a long weekend but a strong tournament for us. This Nationals has been really special for me as winning a BUCS Nationals gold is something that I’ve wanted for a long time.” Congratulations to both on their performances from everyone at the University of Nottingham.
Men’s Doubles – Sam Smith/Johnnie Torjussen (Gold) ; David Hong/Perry Ng (Bronze); Harry Goode/Nathan Rossiter (Out in Round of 16)
Women’s Doubles: Sian Kelly/Kirby Ngan (Silver); Victoria Liang/Aimie Whiteman (Out in Round of 16); Tash Lado/Rachel Woods (Out in Round of 16);
Mixed Doubles – Sam Smith/Sian Kelly (Bronze) Nathan Rossiter/Emily Robinson (Out in Round of 16),
Men’s Singles – Johnnie Torjussen (Gold)
Women’s Singles – Kirby Ngan (Silver)
Building off the successes of Friday and Saturday, the #GreenandGold had several athletes take part in various finals.
In the Women’s Shot Put, Ashleigh Bailey threw 10.93m, finishing the final in 9th. She told UoN Sport,
“I’m really happy to have been able to compete at BUCS Nationals and proud of the performances that the team and I have put in over the weekend!”
Cally Walder was the second of the #GreenandGold to compete in Sunday’s finals, finishing 8th in Women’s Pole Vault A Final with a height of 3.20m.
Soon after the Pole Vault finished, the Men’s and Women’s 200m Heat hit the ground running. The #GreenandGold were well represented by Joel Akande, Oliver Sprio, Zoe Dake and Millie Finch who came 3rd (23.09s), 3rd (23.81s), 4th (26.73s) and 6th (29.75s), respectively. Despite their valiant efforts, these times were not enough to qualify for the finals.
Michael Anderson hit the Triple Jump with spectacular form, registering a PB of 14.60, which saw him finish 4th overall in the final. Michael managed to catch-up with UoN Sport and comment on both his performance and on the weekend:
“I’m quite happy with my performance. The last jump, I feel like I could have gotten into a medal position, but that was my first BUCS Nationals, and it puts me into a good place for the rest of the season and the next few years.
This was the first time I had been with the whole team; it was so good! We don’t really get to see each other throughout the year because we all train differently but it’s been really great, and I’ve really enjoyed the team environment.”
Oluwajoba Ashiru was up next up and competed in the Men’s High Jump Final. Oluwajoba managed to jump an impressive 1.93m.
The last event at Nationals for the #GreenandGold was the Men’s 4 x 200m, which saw Kwesi Biney, Joel Akande, James Walker and Aaron Traves who put on a fantastic performance. Unfortunately, the team finished 6th in the final with a time of 1:33.48. Despite the results, spirits were high in the team as they returned back to the #Greenandgold camp to cheers and applause!
It should be noted that each student who represented the #GreenandGold this weekend should be proud of their performances, and we wish them all the best with the rest of the season.
Sunday saw the introduction of the Men’s Foil and Women’s Epee competitions.
Nottingham fielded a depleted number of fencers to both competitions due to a range of challenges including illness and a number of athletes competing overseas in international competitions.
James Rutherford sailed through his poule with a .800 success rate and his victory against Exeter’s Oliver Ivarsson was a particular highlight. With a bye in the round of 128 he was made to wait well over an hour to meet his last 64 opponent and when he finally hit the piste he made light work of Durham’s Izumu Mishima.
In the final 32, Rutherford went 7-2 up and built a healthy lead but he wasn’t to have it his own way and was pegged back to 9-9. A minor equipment malfunction to his Foil vest gave Rutherford to chance to regain his composure and the Masters student kept his calm and despatched of Yann Calvo Lopez with a 15-11 victory.
He met Austin Kiron in the round of 16, East Anglia and was forced to come from 13-8 behind to take the final touch and a 14-15 victory.
Rutherford was to exit the competition in the last 8, to the hands of Jacob Forey-Miller, a fencer he has known well since the age of 13 years old. Their fight was a frustrating one for the Nottingham student, who had equipment failure 3 times during the exchanges but was left hugely proud of his own efforts to achieve the later stages of the competition.
Mollie Symms impressed throughout her poule with a breeze and fenced fantastically in the morning session. The ranking she held in the knockouts saw her receive a bye through the round of 64. In the round of 32 she faced Lancaster’s Hope Duncan and finished on top in a thrilling 15-14 bout. Symms met Francesca Cavallo from Imperial in the round of 16 and sadly this was to be the end of her competition losing 15-9.
UoN Sport Scholar Rachel Lever had a more challenging route through her poule with mixed results, yet she was able to set her frustrations aside as she registered a convincing 15-6 victory over Bath’s Olivia Wray in the round of 64. It was here that she met her match in Louise Sadler from Bath who found the winning touch when the scores were locked at 14-14. Levers attentions will quickly turn to overseas competitions as she looks to continue her impressive rise in the sport.
The final day of swimming at BUCS Nationals started with Session Five in the morning, seeing 17 University of Nottingham athletes take to the water.
Sunday started strong in the Men’s 200m Butterfly with Cyril Schleiper placing 4th in his heat and 10th overall with a time of 2:10.20, enough to edge him into the final. Elliot Day placed 5th in his heat with a 2:10.38, finishing 12th overall and just missing out on qualifying for the final.
In the Women’s 100m Freestyle, Amy Davies dominated her heat to win in 57.6 seconds, placing her 5th overall and earning her a spot in the final! Francesca Whiting also swam brilliantly to take 7th place in her heat with a time of 1:00.65, leaving her 17th overall.
Ellie Ward and Jess Morgan both competed in the same heat of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke, placing 4th and 8th respectively. Ellie (1:15.68) was just outside the top ten in 12th place, with Jess (1:18.79) in 21st overall.
In the Women’s 200m Individual Medley, Milly Widdop put in a time of 2:42.75 to place 9th in heat and 27th. In the Men’s, Constantinos Hadjiconstansis swam excellently to take 5th in heat (2:13.42) and 10th overall, securing his place in the final.
Anna Stansfield put in a great swim in the Women’s 50m Butterfly to take 4th in her heat with a time of 29.15s, but was 11th overall and just missed out on qualifying for the final by 0.06s. In the Men’s 50m Butterfly, both Aron Preece (26.61s) and Elliot Day (26.99s) competed, taking 25th and 29th overall respectively.
Next up was the Women’s 100m Backstroke where Madeleine Soper put in a competitive time of 1:07.18 to take 5th in her heat and place 12th overall, just shy of qualifying for finals. Francesca Whiting also swam well to place 6th in heat with a 1:09.08, leaving her 18th overall.
Joseph Palmer competed in the Men’s 400m Freestyle and put in an excellent swim to place 8th in heat with a time of 4:21.57, taking 21st overall.
As for the Men’s 100m Freestyle, James Chennells dominated his heat to win it with a time of 52.69 seconds, putting him 15th overall. Ryan Webb also won his heat in 55.33 seconds and placed 36th overall.
Omar Hijazi (1:14.10) and Swimming Captain Oswald Hood (1:07.79) took to the water for the Men’s 100m Breaststroke, both finishing second in their heats and placing 45th and 17th overall respectively.
In the Women’s 50m Butterfly, Milly Widdop gave a great performance, placing 3rd in her heat and 49th overall with a time of 31.79s.
In the final event of session five, Cyril Schleiper swam the Men’s 100m Backstroke and, with a time of 1:02.03, managed 4th in his heat and 27th overall.
Head coach Nathan Hilton told us after Session 2: “It’s been pretty good so far today, with Cyril, Amy and Constantinos in the finals and the relays this afternoon. We’re really happy with how the athletes have been progressing over the weekend. Aron Preece got his champs time in the 50m Butterfly as well which is great. Overall, a really solid morning for us!”
In the final session of the BUCS Long Course Swimming Championships, session 6, University of Nottingham had three individual finalists and one relay team competing.
The first of the finalists to compete, Cyril Schleiper lined up for the Men’s 200m Butterfly final. After qualifying 10th, he also finished 10th in the final with a time of 2:11.94.
Amy Davies made her fourth final appearance of the weekend in the Women’s 100m Freestyle after she qualified 5th in session 5. Amy finished in 8th place after an impressive swim where she improved on her qualifying time by 0.05 seconds (57.55s).
Constantinos Hadjiconstansis took to the water for the Men’s 200m Individual Medley final looking to improve on his time which saw him qualify 10th. A stellar swim with a time of 2:13.81 earned Constantinos 10th place in the finals.
In one of the final events of the weekend, the Women’s team took to the pool for the last time for the Women’s Medley Relay A final after qualifying in 9th on Saturday. The team, made up of Madeleine Soper, Jess Morgan, Anna Stansfield and Amy Davies, gave it their all and finished 9th with an improved time of 4:29.39.
In the Men’s Medley Relay B final, Nottingham finished 2nd with a time of 3:59.08, marginally improving on their qualifying time. The team was made up of Cyril Schleiper, Oswald Hood, Elliot Day and James Chennells.
Speaking about the success of this year’s Championships, Alex Perry (Assistant Director of Sport – Performance) said, “It’s been a busy but successful weekend with fantastic commitment and effort from all associated with the University of Nottingham. Overall we came away with a total of 3 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals, plus a whole range of great performances and positive experiences from so many club members which was a pleasure to see.”
BUCS Nationals Medal Tally (Final)
Gold – Simran Kaur – 60M T46 Sprint
Gold – Johnnie Torjussen – Badminton Men’s Singles
Gold – Johnnie Torjussen/Sam Smith – Badminton Men’s Doubles
Silver – Kirby Ngan – Badminton Women’s Singles
Silver – Sian Kelly/Kirby Ngan – Badminton Women’s Doubles
Bronze – Sam Smith/Sian Kelly – Badminton Mixed Doubles
Bronze – David Hong/Perry Ng – Badminton Men’s Doubles
Bronze – Stefano Lucchetti – Fencing Men’s Sabre
Attention will now turn to BUCS Big Wednesday, the end of the road for the BUCS team sports, with 56 matches set to be hosted by University of Nottingham at David Ross Sports Village and other Nottingham venues on Wednesday 23 March 2022.
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