St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, has announced its Olympic pre-Games training camp was a huge success after eight medals were secured by athletes training at its Strawberry Hill campus.
Over the last three weeks, more than 150 athletes and officials from 10 nations have been based at St Mary’s as part of their pre-Games training camps in the run up to and during the London 2012 Olympic Games including teams from South Africa, Japan, China and Ireland.
The first medals came from the Chinese track and field team after Ding Chen and Zhen Wang took Gold and Bronze respectively in the men’s 20km race walk. This was soon followed by Si Tianfeng, who secured Bronze in the men’s 50km race walk and in the women’s 20K walk when Shenjiye Quiyang also took Bronze. Caster Semenya won Silver in the women’s 800m event, while Kenyans Sally Kipyego and Vivian Cheryiot had a good Games with Sally winning Silver in the women’s 10,000m and Vivian taking Bronze in the 10,000m and Silver in the 5,000m.
St Mary’s Head of 2012 Preparations Prof Richard Fisher commented, “In total athletes from 10 nations based their Olympic training here at St Mary’s over the last few weeks, and the students and staff on campus have been very proud to be part of their Olympic effort. We had high hopes for the athletes training with us, and we are delighted that eight athletes have secured medals for their countries alongside the 2 Gold’s and a Bronze won by our own athletes Mo Farah and Moe Sbihi.
“The pre-Games training camp has been a huge success with the teams commenting on the high standard of the facilities and support they have received whilst they have been here, and we hope to host similar training camps in the future."
A celebration event for staff was also held at the University College to thank staff for their contribution to the training camp. Recent St Mary’s graduate and Team GB 800m Olympic finalist Andrew Osagie and his coach Craig Winrow, attended the event to speak to staff about their experience at the Games.