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St Mary’s Supports Ten Medal Winning Performances at London 2017

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St Mary’s Supports Ten Medal Winning Performances at London 2017

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The record number of Athletes and Alumni from St Mary’s University, Twickenham, alongside the competitors who trained at the University, won a total of ten medals at the London 2017 World Championships.

Alumnus Sir Mo Farah cemented his place as the world’s greatest ever distance runner winning his tenth global title, in the men’s 10000m. In a close race, which Sir Mo described as one of the toughest of his career, he saw off competition from the Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Ugandan runners to win the Gold Medal in a time of 26:49.5. In the defence of his 5000m title, Sir Mo faced equally tough competition, winning the Silver Medal in a time 13:33.22.

Endurance Performance and Coaching Centre (EPACC) athlete Charlotte Purdue competed in her first World Championships, running in the Women’s Marathon. Having qualified for the championship in the London Marathon, she finished as the first placed British woman, 13th overall, in a time of 2:29.48.

Elsewhere EPACC Athletes Adelle Tracey, 800m, and Jake Wightman, 1500m, reached their respective semi-finals. Adelle ran a personal best (PB) of 2:00.26, falling 0.52 seconds short of a place in the final, whilst Jake, who lead the majority of his first heat fell less than second short of qualifying for the final.

In the Men’s 800m, Rio 2016 Olympian and alumnus Elliot Giles reached the semi-finals. In a very close race, Elliot finished sixth, just 0.75 of a second behind first place. Rio 2016 Olympian and alumna Beth Potter also competed in the women’s 10000m. Beth, who is changing discipline to Triathlon, finished as the first British athlete, 21st overall, in a time of 32:15.88.

Director of Sport Andrew Reid-Smith said, “It was a great championships for St Mary’s Athletes. Mo performed brilliantly in two really tough races and I’m looking forward to seeing him begin his road career. Our athletes put in some strong performance, knocking on the door of global finals. The Endurance programme is going from strength to strength and I am excited to see how things will progress at Doha 2019 and Tokyo 2020.”

In the build up to the games, St Mary’s hosted athletes from 14 nations, including groups from the Japanese Association of Athletes Federations, Chinese Athletics Association, Bowerman Track Club, and the Oregon Track Club.

Amongst the competitors supported by St Mary’s, eight athletes won medals with two Gold, three Silver and three Bronze being won in a range of events:


  • Gong Lijao – Chinese Women’s Shot Put
  • Yang Jiayu – Chinese Women’s 20km Race walk


  • Li Lingwei – Chinese Women’s Javellin
  • Hirooki Arai – Japanese Men’s 50km Racewalk
  • Francine Niyonsaba – Burundian Women’s 800m


  • Amy Cragg – American Women’s Marathon
  • Kai Kobayashi – Japanese Men’s 50km Race Walk
  • Lyu HuiHui – Chinese Women’s Javelin

Andrew Reid-Smith added, “It is always an honour to see athletes of this calibre using our facilities. It speaks to the quality of what we offer, time after time we can attract some of the world’s leading sporting talent to train and prepare on campus for major sports events.”

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