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Aimee Willmott turns up heat to win gold at Commonwealth Games

UEL graduate says her sports science dissertation played a key part in her victory in Australia

University of East London (UEL) graduate Aimee Willmott swam to a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast today - and then credited her victory to the research she carried out for her final-year sports science dissertation. 

Aimee, who graduated last year with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science, defeated her long-time rival, Scotland’s Hannah Miley, in an exciting duel in the pool to win gold in the women’s 400 metres individual medley.

Afterwards, the 25-year-old told reporters that the findings of her Bachelor of Science dissertation played a key part in what was the biggest triumph of her swimming career.

Her research concluded that warm clothing worn between a warm-up and competition could deliver a 0.59 per cent boost in performance levels and was published in the European Journal of Sports Science.

She said, “I did five years of uni and finished last year. I did my study based on how hot you are before you swim determining how fast you swim.

“I practise what I preach. I dressed up really warm and was so hot before with the nerves and the crowd combined.”

It was England’s first gold medal in the pool in Australia and the first time Aimee, who was named the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) sportswoman of the year during her time at UEL, has stood at the top of the medals podium in a multi-event championship.

Her performance has set the highest of standards for the remainder of the UEL contingent in Australia. The University is represented at the Games by five former and two current students.

One of them, current MSc Sports Management student Joe Ikhinmwin, was in action for England in the basketball competition today but he and his team-mates went down to a surprise 78-65 defeat by Scotland.