Fab four UEL athletes to compete for GB this summer
Quartet of female track and field athletes to compete in international championships
By Gareth Anstice
The University of East London (UEL) continues to set the pace on the athletics track with four of its athletes selected to compete for Britain at international championships this summer.
Corinne Humphreys (pictured second from left) has been rewarded for her brilliant form with her first ever call-up to the senior Great Britain squad for the European Team Championships in Lille, France, from June 23-25.
Next to pull on a GB vest will be fellow sprinter Shannon Hylton, who will represent her country at the European Athletics Under-23 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in July.
Paralympian Vanessa Wallace will be vying for a shot put medal at next month’s World Para Athletics Championships in London.
And she will be followed by Maya Bruney, who will compete for Britain at the European Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy, from July 20-23.
Their selection follows an outstanding season for UEL’s track and field athletes, who were the third-ranked university team in the country.
Corrinne’s call-up follows a superb early summer in which she has already set a 100 metres lifetime best of 11.39 seconds.
She also claimed double gold at the BUCS Outdoor Championships in the 100 metres and 4x100 metres relay and has been named in the GB squad for the World University Games in Chinese Taipei in August.
The 25-year-old Advertising student has previously competed for Britain in relay competitions at under-23 level but admitted her senior call-up had caught her by surprise.
“I’ve been working hard for it for a long time and I’ve been putting the effort in, in training but I’m still very surprised,” she said.
“I’m just expecting myself to give 100 per cent really. The outcome of the races will be the outcome but I just know that I need to give all that I have to.”
Her call-up to the European Team Championships has raised Corinne’s hopes of earning selection for the World Championships in August, not to mention the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
She said, “It bodes well that I’ve now been picked for this as it shows I’m going in the right direction and hopefully my name is on the radar for more call-ups. Anything can happen in the 100 metres!”
Corinne was full of praise for the way UEL has helped her reach her current level on the track.
“UEL have been pivotal in me being able to train like a full-time athlete,” she said. “It’s very accommodating in being a student and an athlete here. They give me everything that I need.”
Vanessa has also continued her meteoric rise to the top of her field. Having competed at the Rio Paralympics in the F34 shot put, she has experience of big championships but said competing at a home World Championships would be especially inspiring.
“It’s going to be crazy,” she said. “It’s going to be the first time that most of my family are going to see me compete and just knowing they, and everybody else, are there for you hoping you will excel absolutely rocks. I need to give my best and give them something to cheer about.”
Maya is also looking for a big performance when she competes for Britain in the 200 metres at the European Junior Championships.
Having competed for her country at the Loughborough International in May, Maya is hoping to cement her place on the international stage.
“I’m nervous but excited about the championships,” she said. “I’m prepared for it, with the help from my coach at UEL. He’s got me to a point where I trust my body and I’ve got the performance inside me. I’m expecting to medal. I always go out to win.”
Having had a breakthrough 2015 season that saw her win a 200 metres silver medal at the European Junior Championships and smash the 23-second barrier, a benchmark of world-class sprinting, Shannon will be looking to dominate again on the international stage when she competes in the 200 metres and 4x100 metres at the European Under-23s.
She tweeted her pleasure at being selected, saying, “Super excited to wear this kit again and #REPRESENT GB…it's such an honour. Congratulations to everyone selected.”