Rio 2016Olympic & Paralympic Games


27 May 2016

Celts secure Rio spots

Celtic duo Beth Potter and Kevin Seaward are the latest Loughborough graduates to have secured their places in Rio, their first Olympic Games.

Potter, who finished second at the British 10,000m trials at Highgate on Saturday night, met the selection criteria and so is an automatic pick. Having gone inside the Olympic qualifying mark with a 32:03.45 performance in America back in April, the Scottish runner knew a top two position in the trial race would secure her spot on the plane to Rio.

Pushing the pace at the front of the group all the way, the 2013 Physics graduate finished just two seconds outside her personal best and just seven seconds behind the winner to secure her place.

Post-race she said:

“Am I definitely selected! I don’t even know what to think. I had to come here and finish second but I’m just speechless, I don’t know what to say!

“I was so nervous over the last four laps as I could feel people behind me but I didn’t want to look round. I just dug deep and knew I had to keep going all the way to the finish line. I’m so glad I’ve come away with second today.”

For Irishman Kevin Seaward, selection will come as a welcome relief, having run the marathon qualifying time last September. Contesting the Berlin Marathon alongside all of the key contenders for a place on the Irish team, Seaward took over five minutes off his personal best and perhaps more importantly was first Irishman home.

Having demonstrated good form since with a 65:23 half marathon performance at the World Half Marathon Championships, the Loughborough University PGCE graduate will head to Rio full of confidence.

Having moved to Loughborough in 2008 to study an MSc in Education with Qualified Teacher Status, Seaward’s athletics career has flourished, even though he now works full time at Martin High School in Anstey. 

Of his selection the 2:14.52 marathon man said:

“To say I’m delighted with selection for Rio 2016 would be a huge understatement! Elated is more appropriate. This is an accumulation of years of training and as with most athletes, realising a dream!

“Living in Loughborough has been instrumental in achieving the standard. The world class facilities, training groups and good running routes have made training even more enjoyable.”

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Pete Matthews
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University