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Athletes and Alumna Supported by St Mary's Sport and Health Services Selected for Rio Olympics

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Two marathon runners supported by practitioners from St Mary’s University, Twickenham’s Sport and Health Services have recently been selected for the Olympic Games in Rio this summer. Paul Pollock who receives strength and conditioning, physiology and massage support at St Mary’s was announced as a member of the Ireland Olympic team following his performances in the Berlin Marathon, where he ran a time of 2.15.38, and the World Half-Marathon Championships where he placed 14th. Jess Drakau-Petersson was selected for the Denmark Olympic team and works with a strength and conditioning coach and biomechanist at St Mary’s. This will be Jess’ second Olympic Games following a 40th place finish in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Paul and Jess will both be competing in the European Championships in Amsterdam on the 10th July over the half-marathon distance. St Mary’s alumna, Corrine Hall, has also been selected for Rio as pilot for the tandem event at the Paralympic Games. After graduating with a degree in Sports Coaching Science, Corrine moved to Manchester to train with the Great Britain cycling team in 2013 and was paired with Lora Turnham shortly after. The pairing became world champions on the road in 2013 and 2014 before injury curtailed their 2015 season. They have bounced back to win their first track medal at a World Championships this year, securing bronze in the team pursuit. Corrine and Lora will be competing in three events at the Paralympic Games between 11th-17th September: 3km track pursuit, 30km road time trial and 90km road race. Paul Hough, Lead Sport Scientist for Sports Performance Services said, “achieving qualification for the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of an athlete’s sport. This can only be achieved with a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication and talent. I am delighted that these athletes will be following the steps of other great athletes who have trained at St Mary’s by competing on the biggest stage in the world.” Richard Blagrove, Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach for Sports Performance Services added, “These selections are fantastic news for these athletes and the practitioners at St Mary’s who have provided support to them over the last few years. A multi-disciplinary approach to athlete performance is essential at this level, and these athletes are great examples of what the Service team at St Mary’s can offer.”
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