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Three UEL students to compete at World University Summer Games

Weightlifter Mercy Brown (pictured), sprinter Corinne Humphreys and swimmer Michael Gunning will compete for international medals

Three of the University of East London’s (UEL) elite sport scholars will be flying the flag for their countries as they compete at the World University Summer Games in Chinese Taipei.

The Games, which take place from 19-30 August, will see UEL weightlifter Mercy Brown and sprinter Corinne Humphreys compete for Great Britain while swimmer Michael Gunning is aiming for international glory for Jamaica, in the second largest multisport event in the world after the Olympic Games.

Mercy, a 21-year-old Sport and Exercise Science student, originally took up weightlifting to help her pass her GCSE in physical education but now has her eyes set on the medals podium.

Having represented England at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, Mercy is no stranger to global competition but is still thrilled to be representing her country at the Games.

Mercy explained: “This will be my first World University Games and I’m really excited because I didn’t realise how big an event this.

“I’m really excited because I am going to be up against some of the best athletes in the world and I am going to get the experience of having the opening and closing ceremonies and being in one big team.”

Although she has won European medals and now competes regularly on the international circuit, Mercy admitted she never had international aspirations when she took up the sport aged 15.

She said: “It’s absolutely crazy that when I started I never had an Olympic vision, I never had a dream to compete internationally for anybody – I just liked being involved in sport.

“I was one those kids in school that people didn’t even expect to finish secondary school so to be at this point now is just crazy. I have to pinch myself now, but there’s still a long way to go.”

Sprint specialist Corinne Humphreys will be looking to use her experience at the recent London 2017 World Athletics Championships to her advantage as she goes for gold in the 100 metres.

Corinne was part of the GB women’s 4x100m relay squad for the Championships and, although she did not actually compete in the London Stadium and was kept in reserve, the experience of being involved in a sell-out global championship will prove invaluable.

Her selection followed a breakthrough season in which she made her senior GB debut at the European Team Championships, broke her lifetime best three times and was part of a record-breaking athletics team at UEL.

Like Mercy, Corinne is enthusiastic about the opportunity to compete in Chinese Taipei.

“I’m very, very excited,” she said. “I can’t believe my luck. This is the season when everything is going right for me. The Games are in such a good, cool place, so everything’s falling into the right place.

“It means a lot because it makes me feel like I’m starting to get recognised now. This feels like my Olympics, though Tokyo 2020 could be next.”

Michael Gunning will also be looking to excel against an international line-up after another strong season of British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions.

At the BUCS Nationals in February, he powered his way to a thrilling victory in the 200 metres butterfly, capturing his third consecutive gold medal at the championships.