Golden weekend for Loughborough Students at the UK Athletics Championships

Bekah Walton won gold by throwing 58.19m in the javelin

Bekah Walton won gold by throwing 58.19m in the javelin. Photograph supplied by Pete Simmons / 5or6.

In a weekend which saw every possible element of British weather, from torrential downpours to dazzling sunshine, six Loughborough students battled the conditions to win gold medals and become UK Athletics champions for 2023.

There was double gold for Loughborough in the javelin with Bekah Walton and Ben East winning the women’s and men’s event respectively. No strangers to winning gold in Manchester, the pair followed up their British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) wins from earlier in the year to triumph on the senior stage with Bekah throwing 58.19m, and Ben beating two athletes ranked higher than him this season to win with 72.97.     

Continuing in the field, there were excellent personal bests and gold medals from Molly Caudery in the pole vault and Georgie Forde-Wells in the triple jump.

In only her second competition back from injury, Molly not only finished in first place but also jumped the automatic qualifying height of 4.71 required to be selected for the World Championships in Budapest. Georgie continued the PB theme with a massive jump of 13.56 to take her first national title.

On the track, there were wins for PhD candidates Alex Haydock-Wilson in the 400m with 45.97 and Jessica Warner-Judd in the 5000m with 15:53.50. While Jess has already qualified to compete in the 10,000m at the World Championships in August, Alex will need to take 0.25 off his 400m season’s best to be eligible for selection. He has another two weeks to attempt to dip under the 45-second mark to qualify.

On the track there was a win for PhD candidate Alex Haydock-Wilson in the 400m with 45.97

Image caption: Alex Haydock-Wilson wins in style. Photograph supplied by Pete Simmons / 5or6.

There were medals elsewhere for Ben Pattison in the 800m (silver), Tom Mortimer in the 5000m (bronze), Felicia Miloro in the pole vault (bronze), Abbie Donnelly in the 5000m (bronze) and Emily Newnham in the 400m hurdles (bronze). In total, 37 current Loughborough students made it into their national finals.

Loughborough continues its tradition of having a strong presence at these championships, with almost 60 current students competing and a further 90 alumni or Loughborough-based athletes present.

Femi Akinsanya, Director of Athletics, commented: “This was a great weekend for Loughborough at the national Championships.

“We had a large staff and athlete attendance in Manchester, and it’s a great opportunity to catch up with and support athletes who are either still based at Loughborough or have passed through on their athletics journey.

“Molly’s automatic qualification for the World Championships was a brilliant surprise after her injury, and to have both winners of the javelin be Loughborough students was a real highlight. We’re excited to see what the rest of the season has in store.”