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London Olympic Stadium honour for top university athletes
10:32am Wednesday 25th April 2012 in University of York sport
Eight athletes from the University of York will line-up in this year’s British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Visa Outdoor Athletics Championships at the new Olympic Stadium in London next month, writes Jack Bradshaw.
In the men’s category, Scott Burton (100 metres), Jolovan Hutchings (400m), James Gilbert (1,500m), Tom Bean (5,000m), Richard Weeks and Tom Ratcliffe (both 10,000m) will represent York.
York’s Emma Phillips (hammer throw) and Sara Bianchi Bazzi (long jump) successfully qualified for the women’s category in the event, which is held from Friday, May 4 to Sunday, May 7.
York Sport president Sam Asfahani said: “The event is a great opportunity for our students to play on such a huge scale. They will be representing York and have every chance to bring us back some BUCS points.”
Sara Bianchi Bazzi, 2009 European junior long jump champion and York first-year student, said: “Since November, I have been thinking about the BUCS Championships during every training session.”
James Gilbert, competing in the men’s 1,500m, said, “It will be an amazing experience because it’s at the Olympic Stadium.
“I competed at the English Schools Championships last year at Gateshead International Stadium with a similar sized crowd, so hopefully that experience will help me.
“Looking at the entry list and past results, a near personal best performance will be needed to get into the semi-finals, which is my main aim.”
The Athletics Championships are part of Universities Week 2012, which attempts to recognise the contribution of universities to the UK sports industry.
It is also a part of the London Prepares Series, as the stadium hosts a number of events before the Olympic Games in July.
With the event being held in the Olympic Stadium for the first time, the initial ticket allocation of 4,000 for Saturday’s action sold out in 23 minutes last month.
That prompted BUCS to offer an additional 6,000 tickets to accommodate the remarkable demand.