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14 October 2010 | PR 10/160

Loughborough success at Commonwealth Games

Leon Baptiste

Leon Baptiste

Loughborough athletes have enjoyed an outstanding 2010 Commonwealth Games in the vibrant city of New Delhi.

An action-packed twelve days saw the athletes reach countless finals, attain an abundance of personal bests and continuously add medals to the University’s ever-growing tally.

As the Games drew to a close, Loughborough athletes had won a total of 44 medals across 5 sports.

To put the scale of the success into perspective - if the University was a country, it would have contributed to 33 distinct Commonwealth medals - the same number as South Africa and the 8th highest medal total in the overall table.

Loughborough Swimming won an incredible 20 medals, with the likes of Fran Halsall and Loughborough College student Liam Tancock starring in the Delhi pool. Halsall returns with five medals, including gold in the 50m Butterfly, whilst world-record holder Tancock claimed four at the Games, two of them gold, in the 50m and 100m backstroke. 2012 sports scholar Joe Roebuck also claimed two individual silvers in his first ever Commonwealth Games.

Director of Swimming Ian Armiger was thrilled with what he witnessed:

“I am delighted that our swimmers will be bringing back so many memories and so many medals from Delhi. Our impressive tally once again proves that Loughborough really is one of the finest swim teams in the world. The opportunities to maximize potential are certainly here.”

There was also plenty of drama at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, home to the athletics schedule, where 15 Loughborough medals were won. One star was sprinter Leon Baptiste, who will return to Loughborough having struck double gold on the track. The 25-year old produced an unbelievable run to win 200m title in 20.45 seconds, before helping England to 4x100m relay glory.

"It’s been a long journey with a lot of downs and some ups,” said Baptiste, “Not running at the Europeans was the lowest point, this was definitely the highest. I just can’t believe it.”

Not only does Leon train on campus, but he also works part time as a security officer for the University’s Facilities Management team.

Roger Kennedy, Security Manager at Loughborough University, said:

“Leon has been working for us for over three years, turning up for evening and weekend shifts in order to support his athletics career. He is a smashing lad who has worked so hard to achieve this success. His dedication to his sport has paid off by winning two gold medals. All of us in the security team are very proud of him!”

Medals were also won in the team events of badminton, hockey, and netball. Loughborough Lightning netball captain Jo Harten, who is currently studying International Relations at the University, is one of many athletes with reason to celebrate.

Olivia Murphy, Coach of Loughborough Lightning, said:

“I am delighted for Jo and all the England girls who have won the bronze medal. To come back from the disappointment of losing the semi final to beat Jamaica showed great character. I can’t wait to see Jo back on campus to hear about her time in Delhi, and also to begin Loughborough Lightning’s preparation for the new netball season in January.”

Chris Earle, the University’s Director of Sport, was excited with the University’s progress in the Delhi:

“Loughborough University has a proud track record in producing Champions, including Lord Seb Coe, Paula Radcliffe, David Moorcroft and Steve Backley, and it’s been a delight to see so many names added to the list at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. 

“Our investment in world-class facilities at Loughborough has paid huge dividends in the outstanding performance of our swimmers and athletes who, between them have produced 44 medal-winning performances at the Games.

“Our coaches and support staff pride themselves on giving our elite athletes every possible chance of success, and these results show what we have to offer. So many swimmers and athletes hoping to compete at the London 2012 Games are already here at Loughborough, and the results in Delhi prove that many have what it takes to compete with the World’s best.

“2012 will be a fantastic celebration of our sporting and cultural heritage and I know that we at Loughborough want to ensure that we play our part in this once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Loughborough was represented by over 80 athletes at the Commonwealth Games 2010 in seven different sports: athletics, swimming, hockey, netball, badminton, squash and weightlifting.

The athletes comprise current and alumni students from Loughborough University and Loughborough College, but also athletes who are either based, or have recently been based at Loughborough to train at our world class sports facilities.

Full details of Loughborough at the Commonwealth Games and our medal success can be found on our website at:  http://www.lboro.ac.uk/delhi2010/

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

John Spinks
PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: J.W.Spinks@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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