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UEL road to Rio: All eyes on track athletes as UEL trio bow out of Olympics

students studying at UEL

UEL road to Rio: All eyes on track athletes as UEL trio bow out of Olympics

By Gareth Anstice

After an exciting start to Rio 2016, attention now turns to Olympic Stadium for the start of the athletics programme.

Current UEL student Bianca Williams and alumnus Adam Gemili, who graduated last year, will be moving from the Team GB training camp in Belo Horizonte to Rio in readiness for their competitions on the track.

Adam, who last week was named captain of Team GB’s athletics team, will start his Olympic campaign in the 200 metres heats on Tuesday, 16 August. If successful, the 2014 European champion, will then compete in the semi-finals and final on the following Thursday and Friday respectively.

A 100 metres semi-finalist at the London 2012 Olympics when he was aged just 18, Adam is hoping for a place on the podium in Rio.

“I am aiming for a medal now,” he said. “I have to. Anything less than a medal and I will feel I’ve not done what I can do.”

Bianca, who has just completed the final year of her MSc Sport and Exercise Science degree at UEL, has been selected for the women’s 4x100 metres relay squad who begin their competition in the heats on Thursday, August 18. The final takes place on Saturday, August 20.

The Games has seen already seen two current UEL students and one alumna compete on the Olympic stage.

Aimee Willmott swam her way into seventh place in the 400 metres individual medley final after qualifying fifth quickest. However, she missed out on a place in the 200 butterfly semi-finals.

Despite missing out on a medal, Aimee was satisfied with her performance in the pool.

“It’s been amazing to be part of this team,” she said. “We have started off really well and I would like to think I have contributed to that. Making my first final was a fantastic experience in the 400 IM.”

Heavyweight boxer Lawrence Okolie lost to Cuban fighter Erislandy Savon in the round of 16. He had previously cruised through his first-round fight against Igor Jakubowski, winning by a unanimous judges’ decision.

Former student Szandra Szogedi was defeated in the first round of the women’s -63kg judo category by Brazilian Mariana Silva but made history by becoming the first ever female judoka to represent Ghana at an Olympic Games.