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UEL road to Rio: Graduate Adam Gemili seals Olympics place

UEL students

Former Sport and Exercise Science student to compete in second Olympic Games

Students and staff at the University of East London (UEL) will have another athlete to cheer at this summer’s Rio Olympics after recent graduate Adam Gemili sealed his place in Team GB on Sunday.

Adam (pictured right), who graduated from UEL last November with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science, won a thrilling 200 metres race at the British Athletics Championship in Birmingham, holding off a powerful challenge from fellow Briton Danny Talbot (pictured left) to take first place.

Both athletes are now guaranteed a place in Rio. Adam described his qualification as “the best feeling in the world” after missing most of last season with a serious hamstring tear.

For Adam, it will be the second time he has competed on the Olympic stage, having made his Games debut in London in 2012, where he reached the 100 metres semi-finals at the age of just 18.

Since then, he established himself as one of the world’s leading track sprinters, winning the European 200 metres title in 2014 and becoming the first Briton in history to run the 100 metres in under 10 seconds and the 200 metres in under 20 seconds.

View the video interview Adam gave about his time at UEL at his graduation ceremony. 

Also at the British Athletics Championships, current UEL undergraduate Shannon Hylton shrugged off an injury-plagued winter to finish a highly creditable fifth in the women’s 200 metres final, one place ahead of fellow UEL student Bianca Williams.

Both women have been selected for the British women’s 4 x 100 metres relay squad at the European Championships in Amsterdam from July 6-10, where they will have a chance to stake their claim for a spot in the Olympic relay squad. Team selection takes place on July 12.

A total of six current UEL students were in action at the championships.

In addition to Shannon and Bianca, British Universities 200 metres champion Kyle Ennis reached the final of the 200 metres, finishing eighth, while Corrinne Humphreys made it through to the women’s 100 metres semi-finals.

Youcef Zatat, another British Universities champion, took fourth place in the shot and Darren Morson was 14th in the long jump.