Loughborough athletes take World University Cross Country gold in Oman

A posed group shot of loughborough student athletes

(L-R): Sam Hodgson, Tia Wilson, Rowan Miell-Ingram, Alex Melloy, Emily Parker, Louis Small, Beth Morley.

Seven Loughborough students travelled to the World University Cross Country Championships in Muscat, Oman, where BUCS rivals Loughborough and Birmingham joined together to take mixed relay gold.

It was far from the muddy conditions British athletes usually face for cross country, with the World University 2024 course starting and ending on astroturf, and course marshals regularly hosing down the dirt track in the 30-degree heat. However, this didn’t deter the Loughborough athletes, who came home with a mixed relay team medal, an individual medal and team medals between them.

The competition started brilliantly for the GB&NI team with a win in the short course relay. The team comprised of Loughborough’s Alex Melloy, Beth Morley, Tia Wilson and Birmingham’s Tyler Bilyard, with Morley moving the team from 3rd to 1st in the last leg, overhauling a 70m lead from South Africa.

The following day saw further success for Morley as she came 3rd in the individual short course event, with Wilson in 6th and Emily Parker taking 15th place, leading to an overall team gold. The men’s event featured Loughborough’s Rowan Miell-Ingram finishing as first Brit in 7th with Melloy in 10th, helping the team take bronze.

The men’s long course was the final event to feature Loughborough athletes with Louis Small finishing in 16th and Sam Hodgson in 28th place. Combined with the short course, the men also took team bronze.

There was also success for former student Baptiste Fourmont, who helped Loughborough’s men take BUCS team cross country gold in 2023 for the first time in 19 years. Competing for his home nation of France, he finished a fantastic third in the men’s long course race.

Loughborough’s Head of Endurance, Kyle Bennett, praised the team which featured many students only in their second year at Loughborough:

“This was a great performance from the Loughborough students. It’s really encouraging to see that we have athletes in this team who have only just moved up from the Junior age group and still have more time at Loughborough to develop as elite athletes.

“I want to give a special thank you to the athletics support practitioner team, especially physiology, who helped with the heat acclimatisation for the temperatures the athletes faced in Oman, which made a huge difference in tough conditions. A real team effort all around.”