February 26, 2023, by brzmjb1

BUCS Nationals 2023 – Sunday Round-up

Sunday brought a close to the 2023 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, and Climbing have come together as one team.

We’ve had medals (14 of them!), personal bests, heartbreaks, upsets and injuries and we’ve loved every second along the way.

Sunday proved to be the most successful day of the Championships as Nottingham signed-off in style.

Here’s how the final day in Sheffield unfolded…


After the late evening session for our doubles pairings last night, there would be no respite as the #GreenandGold were back in action on court for the first action of the last day of BUCS Nationals 2023.

During the morning’s play, Head of Badminton Martyn Lewis reflected that “it’s been a hectic start to the morning! It’s good that we have extra coaching staff in today with Chris Adcock joining us. I’m very happy with the mornings performances because the players worked so hard in training, so to see it paying off is fantastic. There’s some tough matches to come but hopefully the team can rely on the preparation that they’ve put in.

After the promising start to the day, there would be six Nottingham pairs that would make it into the quarter-finals of doubles competitions – Sian Kelly/Sam Smith, Sian Kelly/Kirby Ngan, Susanna Ogden/Aimie Whiteman, Harry Lines/Raymond Chong, Sam Smith/Perry Ng, and Victoria Liang/Natasha Lado made it six Nottingham pairs into the quarter-finals of doubles competitions.

Once into the last 8, it would be Sam Smith and Sian Kelly who would be the first to guarantee themselves a medal with all semi-finalists earning a bronze after a convincing 2-0 victory in the mixed. After a short break, Kelly would then be securing herself another bronze after winning her women’s doubles quarter-final over Exeter with partner Kirby Ngan. Joining them in the semi-finals would be Aimie Whiteman and Susanna Ogden who beat Bath 2-0, and after being drawn against each other in the last four, the University of Nottingham were now guaranteed to have a pair in the women’s doubles final.

Attention turned back to the singles with Kirby Ngan now the remaining #GreenandGold representative, facing Medha Shashidharan of Manchester Met for a place in the final and a shot at gold. Once the match got underway it was clear that Ngan had been at these latter stages before, playing controlled badminton from the off to take a 21-8 first set victory, and then secure her status as the first #GreenandGold athlete in a 2023 BUCS Nationals badminton final with a 21-8 second set.

Before the match began, we spoke to Ngan’s doubles partner Sian Kelly who said “it’s been a successful day so far and to be in two semi-finals is nice. It’s been amazing – the team have done really well which is great to see. Kirby is amazing to play with and I’m fortunate to play with her – hopefully we can do as well as we did last year.”

Kelly would then take to the court with Sam Smith in their mixed doubles semi-final against Loughborough’s Tolman and Green. Smith was coming into the match with confidence after a men’s doubles win over Warwick with partner Perry Ng which resulted in another last four match for Nottingham, and another guaranteed bronze. However, the Loughborough pair proved to be better on the day, taking a 2-0 win to confirm Smith and Kelly’s mixed doubles bronze as the first medal awarded to Nottingham on the day.

After an interval for the two to recover, they were both back on court occupying the two centre show courts. This time though, Smith was partnering with Perry Ng in the men’s singles semi-final, whilst Kelly was one of four Nottingham athletes on court as her and partner Kirby Ngan took on Whiteman and Ogden in the all #GreenandGold affair. It would be two 2-0 victories on either court, but unfortunately for Smith, Ng, Whiteman and Ogden – those would go to Loughborough’s Moore and Pullela, as well as Notingham’s Kelly and Ngan who were now one match from gold. However, it still meant that there would be very well deserved Bronze medals for the four defeated Nottingham semi-finalists.

Attention firmly turned to the two finals to round out BUCS Nationals for the University of Nottingham. With Ngan a participant in both, team mate Sian Kelly would be supporting from the stands in the first as the women’s singles number one seed stepped onto court. It would be a familiar opponent for Kirby Ngan and the club as Aimie Whiteman’s last 16 conqueror Alexandra Oprisan from Queen Mary had also reached the final. Once the action began, Ngan settled quickly into the contest and began to set an early pace moving into the mid-set break 11-5 up, before Oprisan mounted a comeback to pull within 3 at 16-13. However, Ngan would not be denied the opener with a 21-15 set, before a very similar set came to an end after a magnificent drop shot by the newly crowned  BUCS women’s singles champion – Nottingham’s Kirby Ngan! A 2-0 victory sees Kirby add a gold to last year’s silver in the same competition. Congratulations Kirby!

Ngan would have to re-focus after singles success, readying for the women’s doubles final with Sian Kelly. Entering the same court that she had won gold on an hour before, the Nottingham duo faced Loughborough’s Chaudhari and Tolman. A solid start meant that the Nottingham pair could build a lead and decidedly took the first set 21-12, making them just one set away from becoming BUCS champions. However, Loughborough would not make it easy, taking the second set 21-9. In the deciding set, Loughborough ran into an early 7-1 lead, but Kelly and Ngan showed great resilience to draw back level at 8-8 before taking an 11-9 lead at the break. Chaudhari and Tolman continued to keep it close all the way up to the final points at 19-19 in what was becoming an epic finale to the weekend. Ultimately the fairytale ending would be for Loughborough as Chaudhari and Tolman claimed the last two points to win the set 21-19, and the match 2-1.

Overall, it would be still be two brilliant medals apiece for Ngan and Kelly.


Gold – Kirby Ngan – Women’s Singles

Silver – Kirby Ngan & Sian Kelly – Women’s Doubles

Bronze – Aimie Whiteman/Susanna Ogden – Women’s Doubles

Bronze – Perry Ng & Sam Smith – Men’s Doubles

Bronze – Sian Kelly & Sam Smith – Mixed Doubles


Building off the successes of Friday and Saturday, the #GreenandGold had several athletes take part in various semi-finals and finals.

Sean Oceng-Engena equalled his personal best in the High Jump to secure a bronze medal. He successfully cleared 2.07 late on the Sunday evening to put himself in medal contention. 2.10 was just a stretch too far as he came within touching distance of a silver – a fantastic effort.

In the Women’s 200m, Zoe Dake finished 2nd in her heat with a time of a 26.18 to reach the semi-finals while Aron Traves managed to record a personal best in his 200m heats (23.89 seconds).

Over at long jump there were high hopes for Michael Anderson in today’s final after a fantastic series of qualifying jumps on Saturday. However, an unfortunate foot injury prevented the Nottingham jumper from registering a single jump in the final and we look forward to seeing him back out there as soon as possible.

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.


Day 3 cemented the 2023 Long Course Swimming Championships as UoN Swimming’s most successful ever, with three more medals added to this weekend’s tally!

The final day of swimming at BUCS Nationals started with Session Five in the morning, seeing 21 University of Nottingham athletes take to the water.

Today’s action kicked off with the Women’s 200m Butterfly where Rosie Smith placed 18th overall (2:35.11s). Both Elliot Day (2:15.50) and Cyril Hanson (2:11.54) competed in the Men’s, placing 18th and 14th respectively.

Silver Medal for  Aliya Bacakoglu in the  Para Women’s Swimming – 100m Butterfly

A time of 57.97s in the Women’s 100m Freestyle saw Amy Davies through to the final, with Fran Whiting (1:01.76s) also finishing 26th overall.

The 100m Breaststroke saw Milly Widdop (1:21.74) and Ellie Ward (1:17.04) compete for the Women, finishing 27th and 18th overall respectively. For the Men, Nikolai Khutoryanskiy ( 1:09.47) finished 24th, with Cam White (1:09.88) in 27th.

Anna Stansfield (2:26.90) and Katie Hammond (2:34.43) represented UoN in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley, finishing 11th and 18th overall. Josh Vance (2:12.01) finished 12th with Constantinos Hadjiconstansis (Hadji) (2:15.39) in 15th for the Men. All four swimmers qualified for the B finals.

With a time of 26.28s, Elliot Day placed 20th overall in the Men’s 50m Butterfly, with Ryan Webb (26.69s) placing 31st. For the Women it was Rosie Smith (30.51s) who placed 34th.

The Women’s 100m Backstroke, Nell Kinch (1:05.10) and Maddy Soper (1:07.24) both qualified for the B final later in the day.

Bailey Scarborough logged a 4:30.08s in the Men’s 400m Freestyle to finish 25th overall.

Owen Say brought home the gold for UoN Swimming in the Men’s 100m Freestyle with a time of 1:03.86s, making it his second medal of the weekend. In the Men’s 400m Freestyle, Owen also added another silver medal to his collection with an incredible time of 5:13.28s. What a weekend for Owen!

We spoke to Glen Smith, Swimming Coach at UoN.

“I first coached Owen in Mansfield, where I coached a number of para swimmer who won medals at Paralympic, World and European championships. In the last 12 months he has improved considerably and he has swam incredibly well this weekend with an impressive medal haul. Owen is thriving in the world of university sport and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

It was a memorable day for Nottingham’s swimmers at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre

Para-swimmer Aliya Bacakoglu took to the water twice this session. In the Women’s 200m Individual Medley it was a bronze medal added to her collection with a time of 3:18.08s! In the Women’s 100m Breaststroke her time of 1:37.46s earned her 4th place.

To continue with the club’s record-breaking weekend, University of Nottingham was represented in 8 finals by 11 athletes in Session Six- 6 individual and 2 team.

First to take to the water was Amy Davies in the Women’s 100m Freestyle final, placing 8th overall after swimming a 57.85s.

Ellie Ward represented UoN in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke B final, finishing 19th overall with a time of 1:16.32s.

In the Women’s 200m Individual Medley B Final, Katie Hammond swam a 2:31.58s to finish 17th.

Both Josh Vance (2:11.11s) and Hadji (2:14.20s) competed in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley B final, finishing 11th and 14th respectively.

The Women’s 100m Backstroke saw Nell Kinch in the A final and Maddy Soper in the B final. Nell finished 8th overall with a time of 1:04.21s and Maddy placed 14th with a 1:06.02s swim.

Some of the most hotly anticipated finals, the Women’s and Men’s 4x100m Medley Relays, Nottingham was represented in both. The Women’s team, made up of Amy Davies, Nell Kinch, Ellie Ward and Anna Stansfield, placed 6th overall with a time of 4:20.72s. Nikolai Khutoryanskiy, Hadji, Elliot Day and Josh Vance made up the Men’s team, putting in an excellent performance to take 10th place with a time of 3:58.89s.

Aliya Bacakoglu and Owen Say with their 2023 BUCS Long Course Swimming medals

Speaking about the success of this year’s Championships, Alex Perry (Assistant Director of Sport – Performance) said, “What a wonderful way to crown the 10th Anniversary of BUCS Nationals. It has been so enjoyable to celebrate the achievements of our student-athletes this weekend and the staff who do an excellent job in supporting them.   Overall, we came away with a total of 3 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals, plus a whole range of great performances and positive experiences from so many club members”.

BUCS Nationals Medal Tally (Final)

Gold – Owen Say –  Para Men’s Swimming – 100m Freestyle (S8)

Gold – Kirby Ngan –  Badminton Women’s Singles

Silver – Kirby Ngan/Sian Kelly – Badminton Women’s Doubles

Silver – Simran Kaur – 60M T46 Sprint

Silver – Owen Say –  Para Men’s Swimming – 50m Freestyle (S8)

Silver – Owen Say –  Para Men’s Swimming – 400m Freestyle (S8)

Silver – Aliya Bacakoglu –  Para Women’s Swimming – 100m Butterfly

Bronze – Aliya Bacakoglu –  Para Women’s Swimming – 200m Medley

Bronze – Sean Oceng-Engena – Men’s High Jump

Bronze – Amy Davies – Women’s 50M Freestyle

Bronze – Emma Futcher – Women’s Climbing

Bronze – Sam Smith/Sian Kelly – Badminton Mixed Doubles

Bronze – Sam Smith/Perry Ng – Badminton Men’s Doubles

Bronze – Aimie Whiteman / Susanna Ogden – Badminton Women’s Doubles

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

You can re-watch all of the action via BUCS TV.

Attention will now turn to BUCS Big Wednesday, the end of the road for the BUCS team sports, with 57 matches set to be hosted by University of Nottingham at David Ross Sports Village and other Nottingham venues on Wednesday 22nd March 2023.

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