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UEL student Shannon Hylton wins UK title to book place at World Championships

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Sprint star heads a UEL one-two to continue amazing summer of track success for the University

Photo: Shannon Hylton edges out Bianca Williams to take the 200 metres crown. Getty Images/British Athletics

The University of East London (UEL) celebrated a glorious one-two on the athletics track on Sunday when undergraduate Shannon Hylton won the UK senior women’s 200 metres title – beating UEL 2016 graduate Bianca Williams into second place.

The result guarantees both women (pictured) a place on the start-line at next month’s World Athletics Championships in London – adding another chapter to the University’s incredible track and field story this summer in which four current students have earned GB call-ups.

Shannon missed out on selection for last year’s Olympic Games in Rio after being plagued by injury problems.

But she atoned for her disappointment by producing arguably the performance of the day at the World Championships Team Trials 2017 in Birmingham to win her race in a lifetime best of 22.94 seconds.

Bianca, who travelled to Rio as a member of the GB 4x100 metres relay squad but did not actually make the starting quartet, took the runner-up spot in 23.05 seconds. 

"I’m so thrilled,” said Shannon, who is two years into her biomedical science degree at UEL.  “I knew I had some really strong girls outside me so I had to get out well.
"When I got to the straight I started to tense up but I pushed on through to the line. The conditions felt quite still, which helped, and I’m only coming back from a tough year of injury in 2016 where things didn’t quite go so well, so to bounce back in this manner is so pleasing.”

The achievement of Shannon and Bianca comes after UEL student Corinne Humphreys made her senior GB debut at last week’s European Team Championships in Lille, France, where she took third place in the 100 metres.

Corinne was in also in action at the World Championships trials on Sunday, finishing fifth in the 100 metres final, and will compete at the World University Games in Chinese Taipei next months.

Fellow UEL student Vanessa Wallace, who competes in the seated shot put, will be among the medal favourites at the World Para Athletics Championships later this month after finishing fifth in her F34 final at last year’s Rio Paralympics.

Completing a remarkable year for UEL’s female track sprinters, Maya Bruney will compete for Britain at the European Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy, later this month.