February 25, 2023, by brzmjb1

BUCS Nationals 2023 – Super Saturday Round-up

Saturday at BUCS Nationals is moving day. From heats to the podium, personal bests to season bests, the action is relentless and the special moments come thick and fast.

Over at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, the swimmers had a day to remember registering one of their most successful Championships in memory. Para swimmer, Owen Say picked up a silver medal in the Men’s 50m Freestyle S8  category. There was more Para swimming  success in the women’s 100m Butterfly for Aliya Bacakoglu who earnt a silver medal and it took 25.93 seconds for Amy Davies to add her name into Nottingham’s BUCS Nationals history. The Nottingham swimmer’s bronze medal swim in the 50M Women’s Freestyle, cheered on by the Nottingham faithful, added a fantastic fourth medal to the University of Nottingham’s 2023 tally.

Over the other side of Sheffield, Nottingham’s athletes were heating up just nicely…


Joseph Owen opened proceedings with a season best 4:11.49 in the 1500m. His qualifying time, second in his heat was fast enough to take him into the Semi-finals.

In the women’s event Sophie McIlroy & Rachel McDonald also ran a strong race to register a time of 5:05.88 and 5:08.49 respectively.

In the 400m Benjamin Gardiner finished 2nd in his heat to progress to the semi-final. Gardiner ran a comfortable final lap and eased off on the home straight as he cruised through to the semi-final. Moments later,  Dijana Clarke followed suit and finished 2nd place in her 400m heat to qualify with a time of 58.52 seconds and head into tomorrows final.

In the long jump and high jump, three Nottingham athletes progressed through to finals, with Joba Ashiru, Sean Oceng-Engena and Michael Anderson all moving into the final stages of the competition.

At 2pm there was a chance to take a break from the serious on-track action with the return of a very different race altogether. The Annual mascot race sees each University mascot compete in a fun-filled 200m race and for Nottingham it was Lenton the Lion‘s time to shine.

All for a good cause, mascots that race enter through making a donation to the Danny Porter Foundation, a charity that raises fund to help in the fight against cancer.

Lenton didn’t disappoint, running 2nd fastest in the first heat and entertaining the fans on the way!

To close out the evening session we had the Men’s and Women’s 4 x 200m.


Nottingham’s swimmers had a record day in the Pool at Ponds Forge wining 2 silvers and a bronze medal.

University of Nottingham didnt dissapoint in the pool. The team concluded the day with seven individuals and two teams competing in a range of A and B finals, the highest amount of finalists UoN has ever had on a Super Saturday! An incredible performance from Amy Davies earned Nottingham their first swimming medal of the weekend. Davies awarded UoN Swimming their first medal of the weekend as she achieved bronze in the Women’s 50m Freestyle final with an incredible time of 25.93s.

It was back to team disciplines with the 4×100 Medley Relay. The Women’s team was made up of Amy Davies, Nell Kinch, Ellie Ward and Anna Stansfield (4:20.88s). They swam brilliantly in the #GreenandGold and placed 2nd in their heat and 4th overall, awarding them a place in the final.

Ellie Ward took to the water in the Women’s 50m Breaststroke B final and placed 20th with a time of 34.84s. In the Men’s 50m Breaststroke B final, Nikolai Khutoryanskiy (30.17s) swam well to finish 19th overall.

The Women’s 100m Butterfly heats were exciting to watch! Anna Stansfield swam a 1:04.16s which put her 14th overall and into the B Final! Rosie Smith and Aliya Bacakoglu (1:31.12s) also took to the water for the 100m Butterfly, finishing 33rd and 63rd overall respectively. The Men’s 100m Butterfly was just as tense with Cyril Hanson (1:00.08s) competing, where he placed 23rd overall.

In the Men’s 200m Backstroke A final, Josh Vance (2:08.53s) also finished 10th overall.

The last swimming action of the day was in the Women’s and Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay finals. The Women’s team, made up of Amy Davies, Nell Kinch, Maddy Soper and Fran Whiting, were in the A final after qualifying 5th on Friday, finishing in 6th place overall..

The Men’s team were in the B final after qualifying 16th. The team was made up of Hadji, Elliot Day, Ryan Webb and Josh Vance rounded up fantastic day in the pool with a 6th place finish.

Reflecting on a hugely successful Super Saturday, we spoke to Aron Preece, Head Coach at UoN Swimming.

“We have had more finalists, PBs and Season Best times than ever before! There has been a great atmosphere in the Nottingham camp over the weekend and everyone is really excited for the all the finalists. We are especially proud of Amy Davies for her incredible performance over the first two days, especially the amazing bronze medal!”


BUCS Nationals day two saw the Badminton National Championships main draw get underway in Sheffield. With no qualifiers from yesterday, it would be the University of Nottingham’s seeded players who would enter the competition and take to the court for the first time this weekend. Kirby Ngan, Sian Kelly and Sam Smith would all be hoping to match or go even better than their results from last year.

Benson Lin (Min Htet Kaung), seeded 9/16, was the first to step onto the hardwood for the #GreenandGold and found an early groove in the men’s singles to defeat Sheffield’s Chin Tze Ng in his hometown. Due to the draw, this would see Benson facing the number one seeded Cholan Kayan from the University of Manchester in the second round. Kayan was last year’s runner-up to Nottingham alumni and current champion, Johnnie Torjussen. Despite a slow start which saw the Manchester man take a 1-0 lead (11-21), Benson found his form and pushed his top ranked opponent all the way in an engrossing encounter. After being tied up at 21-21 and needing to win by two clear points, Kayan managed to take consecutive rally’s to win the set 23-25, and the match.

The second #GreenandGold entrant in the men’s singles would be Harry Lines, seeded 5/8. Before starting his tournament, Lines told us “I just want to go out there and enjoy it as much as I can. I’m playing singles and doubles today and hoping to get through a few rounds and see what happens, but the aim is to enjoy it as much as possible.” Harry faced Vidun Wedagedera of Cambridge in his opening round, winning two close sets 21-18 & 21-19. The close matches continued with Lines going three games with Ciar Pringle of Glasgow Caledonian, but ultimately losing the final set in a very close affair 19-21.

Re-igniting the #GreenandGold on the court following the men’s singles were our women’s doubles pairs of Kirby Ngan and Sian Kelly, Victoria Liang and Natasha Lado, and Aimie Whiteman and Susanna Ogden, who all took to the court at the same time to begin their campaigns. Across the three concurrent matches, every game was won by our players, with 2-0 wins over Surrey and two Oxford pairs.

Next up would be a familiar setting with Kirby Ngan beginning her 2023 singles run, aiming to go one better than her silver from last year, taking on Oxford’s Sophie Taylor who was part of the pair that Liang and Lado beat in the doubles. The round of 32 match saw a comfortable win for the number one seeded Kirby, 21-7 and 21-5, before another 2-0 win in the round of 16 – this time 21-12, 21-11 against Derby’s Katie Bicknell. Now just one win from the semi-finals, Toni Woods of UWS stood in her way. However, Ngan, the Nottingham scholar moved up another level to cruise into the last four with a 2-0 (21-9, 21-1) win. Ngan’s Nottingham club mate, Aimie Whiteman was also entered in the singles winning against Alexa Yihan from Exeter in the opening round to set-up a clash against Queen Mary’s Alexandra Oprisan for a place in the quarter finals. Unfortunately, despite a spirited showing from our Nottingham scholar, it would be the 3/4 seeded Queen Mary player who would advance to the last 8.

The opening rounds of the men’s and mixed doubles were the last to be played with the pairs of Harry Lines and Raymond Chong, Harry Goode and Jacob Weekes, and second ranked Sam Smith and Perry Ng in action in the men’s doubles. Whilst the mixed doubles sees double duty for certain players with pairings of Sam Smith and Sian Kelly, Perry Ng and Victoria Liang, and Harry Goode and Natasha Lado. All pairings won their evening matches to join their #GreenandGold team mates on finals day tomorrow.


Climbers tackle the bouldering wall at the Climbing Works

The Climbing competition got underway on Saturday with our athletes competing in one of the World’s largest bouldering centres – the Climbing Works, Sheffield. Nottingham students spent the day tackling a variety of problems and challenging themselves against some of top climbers from around the U.K.  The Climbing finals took place on Saturday evening at 8pm with all the action available live and free-to-air on BUCS TV.

It would turn out to be an incredible evening for the #GreenandGold with Emma Futcher picking up a landmark bronze medal, whilst another was added in the team event! This is an incredible feat for Emma and the club as they become some of the very first athletes from the University of Nottingham to win BUCS Nationals medals in the sport of climbing.

Tomorrow, we move into the final day of the Championships with action across 3 sports and everything still to play/compete for.  We hope to see the #GreenandGold build on their current medal tally of 3 silver and 1 bronze at this years BUCS Nationals 2023.

In the meantime, make sure you head over to our social channels to congratulate out students on their success.

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

The action is also brought to you live via BUCS TV.

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