Corinne Humphreys makes Great Britain squad for World Athletics Championships
Quintet of elite UEL female athletes set to represent their country on the international stage
University of East London (UEL) sprinter Corinne Humphreys has spoken of her delight after being named in the Great Britain squad for the World Athletics Championships in London next month.
Corinne has been selected for the women’s 4x100 metres relay team, where she will be joined by fellow UEL student Shannon Hylton.
Shannon had previously made sure of her selection for the championships by winning the 200 metres at last month’s GB trials.
Corinne’s selection underlines UEL’s emergence as a powerful force in elite athletics, with former UEL students Bianca Williams and Adam Gemili also competing at the championships.
Bianca, who finished second behind Shannon at the trials, will compete in the women’s 200 metres and 4x100 metres while Adam is selected for the men’s 4x100 metres.
Corinne’s rise to prominence has been spectacular, having only recently made her senior GB at the European Team Championships in Lille, France.
The Leyton based athlete's excellent performance there, where she finished third in the 100 metres, contributed to her selection for the World Championships just a few miles from her doorstep, though the news that she had made the squad still came as a shock to her.
“It’s still not real at the moment,” she said. “When I got the phone call, I could not believe it at all. I’m just in disbelief still!
“I didn’t predict that this would happen so soon. It was just this February that I came fourth at BUCS indoors [the British Universities and Colleges Sport Indoor Championships] and the turnaround to make the worlds squad is ridiculous.”
By competing for her country in Lille, Corinne believes that experience has set her up perfectly for the World Championships.
“I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to compete for GB in Lille,” she says. “You get to be around a senior GB squad and see how the athletes prepare and also see international athletes that I’ve only seen on TV before.”
“To get to be around them as a fellow athlete and not be in awe of them really helped. I now know how to conduct myself and not just be a fan of the athletes on show!”
Corinne says she is looking forward to joining up with Shannon and Bianca in the sprint relay squad and flying the flag for UEL.
“It feels good to have the other girls in the squad because it makes it feel more like home and not like I’m going into a completely new situation.
“It’s incredibly big for UEL. It just goes to show what the sports scholarship programme can do.”
The good news for UEL athletics does not stop there. Lauren Russell, 19, has also been added to the GB squad for the European Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy, later this month, where she will compete in both the women’s 400 metres and 4 x 400 metres relay.
She will not be the only UEL student competing at the championships as Maya Bruney had already been selected for the women’s 200 metres and 4x100 metres .
Lauren says, “I’ve competed for GB a couple of times but this is the biggest championships yet. It’s going to be great to pull on the GB vest again. It’s always so special and to do it with a friend in Maya adds to the feeling.”
Lauren gained selection for the European Juniors after running a 400 metres lifetime best of 53.89 seconds in Mannheim, Germany, during her gold medal performance at the BAUHAUS Junior Gala.
Her performance shows an incredible surge in form, having shaved nearly three seconds off her personal in just a year. She says her massive improvement is down to UEL’s support.
“I’ve just been working hard with the coaches at UEL, putting everything into training and using all the strength and conditioning and physio help available,” she says.
“Since I joined they couldn’t have done more to help me succeed in my athletics career and I look forward to improving more while I’m here.”