Sheffield athletes break records at British Universities national championships

Both Sheffield Universities built on their indoor success at the British Universities Championships this weekend, in the outdoor event at Bedford International Stadium.

Sheffield Hallam Athletics Club brought home three gold medals, a silver and two Championship records from the annual BUCS Championships.

Second year Sports Studies student Matthew Hamilton broke his own Championship record on finals day, in the ambulant 400m. He ran a time of 54.73 to beat last year’s record of 56.71 by nearly two seconds. Hamilton only recently came back from injury. He also competed in both the 100m and the 200m, finishing fourth in both the events.

The U23 athlete, who won two medals at the Championships last year, said “finding out I had the Championship record was cool, let alone finding out I had broken it by nearly two seconds this year!

“It felt great racing in general, the win wasn’t everything in that race, I just wanted to do the best I could. I had an awful year in 2016 mentally due to family bereavement and so this was my year to chill out, enjoy myself and do what I can!

“I had lots of support from people I’ve met along my athletic journey so that was really helpful. Having the Hallam lot cheer us on alongside my Mum and friends really pushed me along.”

His team mate Reece Goodwin, who has cerebral palsy, won a silver medal in the event, finishing in a time of 64.03.

Pole vaulter Adam Hague also broke the BUCS Championship record in a jump of 5.35m. The GB junior record holder and 2015 European Junior champion has trained at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport from a young age with his coach Trevor Fox.

Seun Okome, coached by Jessica Ennis-Hill’s former coach Toni Minichiello, took victory in the men’s triple jump, leaping to a distance of 15.48m. The jump by Okome, who has only been competing in the event since 2016, was over 30cm further than the athlete in second place. He has now fully moved on from high jump, an event which he has several BUCS medals in, to triple jump.

His training partner, fellow Hallam student and heptathlete Lucy Chappell, made the women’s high-jump final, placing 6th with 1.72m.

After looking like strong medal contestants and winning their heat, Hallam’s 4x100m relay team was disqualified from the final after not submitting their team to the officials in time.

Hammer thrower Holly Rogers just missed out on a podium place, finishing fourth with a throw of 46.23m.

Hallam had two athletes in the men’s high jump final, with Jordan Thomas finishing in 11th, jumping a height of 1.91m, and James Lee finishing in 13th place with the same distance.

Harry Kendall made the men’s long jump final, where he finished 10th with a leap of 6.84m (wind 3.8 m/s).

Becky Rigby took home a bronze medal in the women’s 5000m for The University of Sheffield in a new club record and PB of 16:13:56. The athlete, who has just come back from a stress fracture injury in her foot, will be aiming for the 10,000m club record in a few weeks’ time. The BUCS race for the 10,000m will take place at the Highgate Harriers 10km event, which Rigby won silver in last year.

Jenny Evans finished 21st in the 5000m with a PB of 18:09:72 5km, and Curtis Mitchell placed 7th in the 110m hurdles, in a new PB of 15.47.

In the men’s 3000m steeplechase, Michael Bartram ran a PB of 9:12:64  and finished 6th.

The women’s shot put saw two University of Sheffield athletes battle it out, with Emily Ball finishing 6th with 12.60m and Annabelle Pask coming 12th with a distance of 10.83m. Hallam athlete Suzanne Palmer was also in the final, finishing in 10th and throwing 11.43m.

The University of Sheffield’s 4x400m relay team finished 7th in the final. Despite not medalling, the club were victorious in the international IAAF #StrikeARelayPose.


Sheffield University 4x400m relay team

David Dempsey ran his last BUCS final after being a student for eight years. He has a collection of four medals, including three golds for Sheffield University, a bronze for Newcastle University.