jessica Judd

Jessica Judd produced a stunning performance in the Women's 1500m. Image provided by Ben Lumley Photography.

A day of high drama unfolds at Loughborough International

Spectators witnessed an action-packed day of top-class athletics as Loughborough International (LIA) once again opened its doors to the public this Sunday (May 22).

Teams from Loughborough, England, Scotland, Wales, GB&NI U20s, and the National Athletics League went head-to-head as crowds were welcomed back to campus after an enforced hiatus at last year’s annual event due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

And in what proved to be pleasant spring conditions at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium, they certainly weren’t left disappointed.

Thomas Young, the Loughborough Sport Scholar and 2022 Paralympic Games gold-medallist, lived up to his pre-race billing by claiming victory in the Men’s Para 100m in 11.16 seconds. A composed Young did enough to edge out competitors Ola Abidogun (11.33), and Segun Samuel (11.50) to continue his fine recent form.

Tom young in action

T‌homas Young was once again in fine form. Image provided by Ben Lumley Photography. 

In the Women’s event, Maddie Down’s explosive time of 13.29 seconds saw the Halesowen athlete take the win in front of Sophie Kamlish (13.49), and Hetty Bartlett (13.51) respectively.

Elsewhere, Loughborough’s Jessica Judd blew away the field in an astonishing performance in the Women’s 1500m. The current University PhD student in Regenerative Medicine clocked 4:16.36 to cruise to victory by some distance.

Earlier in the day, England’s Katie Head performed well in the hammer, taking victory with 66.18m after completing five throws over 64m. In the Men’s event, Ben Hawkes (England) secured a personal best with 69.88m as Wales’ Osian Jones stormed to victory with a huge 70.42m throw.

Scotland’s David Smith recorded 2.19m in the Men’s High Jump to take the win, ahead of Loughborough’s Kelechi Aguocha (2.16m), and England’s Divine Duruaku (2.10m).

In the Women’s 400m hurdles England’s Hayley McLean held her nerve to win a competitive race in 57.08, with Loughborough pair Jessica Tappin (57.71), and Nessa Cooper Millet (58.42) claiming second and third respectively.

There were also dramatic scenes in the Women’s 4x100m event as the England team were reinstated after initially being disqualified to win in 46.22.

The day also saw a welcome return to action for Loughborough’s Niamh Emerson, who appeared in several disciplines at her first competition since September 2020.

The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist recorded a personal best in the Women’s Shot Put with a distance of 13.61m.  

The 23-year-old also reached 42.90m in the Women’s javelin in an event dominated by fellow Loughborough athlete Rebekah Walton (54.75m). Emerson also claimed an eighth-place finish in the Women’s 100m hurdles in 14.10 seconds.

Rebeka Walton

Rebekah Walton stormed to victory in the Women's javelin. Image provided by Ben Lumley Photography.‌

In typical fashion for LIA, the day concluded with two thrilling races in both the Women’s 4x400m and the Men’s 4x400m.

England recorded a time of 3:36.90 to win the Women’s event ahead of Loughborough in 3:40.12. The Loughborough Men’s team (3:06.44) then edged out Ireland (3:06.55) in an enthralling finish to bring down the curtain on a stunning day of athletics competition.   

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 22/96

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 has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2022 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.