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1 September 2008 | PR 08/126

Loughborough trio take top spots at British Grand Prix

Three Loughborough Olympians secured first place finishes at the British Grand Prix in Gateshead yesterday (Sunday 31 August).

Lisa Dobriskey, Martyn Rooney and Goldie Sayers all took wins in their respective events at the final major domestic outdoor meet of the season.

Loughborough-based Rooney, who finished sixth in Beijing and has run sub 45 seconds three times this year, reinforced his position as Britain’s top 400m athlete by winning the first track event of the day in 45.35 seconds. Fellow Loughborough athlete Michael Bingham came through strongly for second in 45.71 seconds.

“After Beijing and the Bird’s Nest I was finding it hard to get up for it before today,” explained Rooney. “But as soon as I stepped on the track I realised it was good to be home as the crowd were massive and really got behind me.

“I didn’t feel I ran that well considering the conditions were perfect for 400m running, but obviously it was great to win.”

Distance runner Dobriskey followed up on her fourth place finish in Beijing by winning the women’s 1500m in 4.09:68. Lying in fourth with one lap to go the Loughborough graduate bided her time before making a move in the last 300m, picking off four competitors and finishing strongly.

“I wanted to come here today to get finishing fourth in the Olympic final out of my head,” she said. “I felt very good in the race and was strong at the end. I wanted to run well in front of home fans so I am glad I won.”

Fellow graduate Sayers put in an impressive performance to win the women’s javelin. The only athlete to throw over 60m, her winning 61.62m effort came on her first attempt and was not bettered throughout the rounds in bad conditions.

The British number one, who also finished an agonising fourth in the Olympic final, said:

“I came here to enjoy the competition. I don’t quite know what to make of the Olympics. I’d like to say it was a good experience but the best I think I can say is that I was satisfied.”

In the men’s pole vault Loughborough-based athlete Steve Lewis finished third with 5.52m. The British number one, who was unable to match his personal best of 5.71m, was pleased to clear the bar after a disappointing Olympic campaign saw him fail to post a mark.

“The conditions weren’t great, it was just to come here and get over the bar after my Olympics,” he said. “It wasn’t a good experience out there and very disappointing for me.”

In other events, graduates Samson Oni (high jump) and Nicola Sanders (400m) were third in their respective events whilst fellow alumnus Andy Turner finished seventh in the 110m hurdles.

-Ends-

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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