By Ella Fenwick | Sport Editor
Over the weekend of September 4-5, four of Cardiff University’s own high performing athletes went to compete in the 2020 Müller British Athletics Championships. Each representing competitor brought home some amazing achievements and performed to the high standards expected at such a large athletics competition.
The first to kick off the weekend and make her debut in the British outdoors athletics scene was third year student Esther Adikpe, competing in the Women’s 400m. Adikpe was extremely grateful for the opportunity and the experience after placing sixth overall in the heats with a time of 57.49 seconds.
Next up to represent Cardiff University was fourth year student James Heneghan. He finished fifth in the heats which meant he qualified into the final of a very competitive Men’s 1500m. In the final held on the second day of the championships, Heneghan came out at 12th place. Despite his finish in the finals, it was still an encouraging outcome for Heneghan’s first British outdoors, leaving him in a positive position for competing at this level in the future.
Following on the second day of events was Lauren Cooper, competing in the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase. Placing fourth overall, Cooper had also beaten her PB with a new time of 10:27.57. This has given Cooper great fuel for the next year of competitions, with her new record being closely behind the Welsh Senior record she has a lot to strive towards.
Finally, to compete over the weekend was first year student Bethany Moule in the Women’s Javelin throw. Despite Moule being new to Cardiff University she made quite the first impression and set high standards for her remaining years at university. Moule not only brought home a bronze medal in the British Seniors competition and achieved herself a new PB of 51.27m in her third throw out of six. She also set a new Welsh U20 athletics record.
“It was very difficult to train during lockdown, particularly with the very limited equipment I had at home.” Moule explained, “From mid-July, I was finally able to throw on a track, but certainly struggled for the first few sessions. I am very happy I managed to stick to some kind of training plan because it definitely paid off come the British Championships.”
Moule looks forward to studying in Cardiff and has always enjoyed visiting the city, but discussed her prospects of training at Cardiff University.
“I am excited for my training to be based at Cardiff, particularly at the National Indoor Athletic Centre. I am on the Commonwealth Games Futures Programme based in Cardiff, so it will be great to be able to access various support networks so easily, particularly physiotherapy and strength and conditioning.”
Continuing to chat about her future plans, Moule went on further to discuss other aspirations she will be working towards in the next couple of years.
“My main aim for next year is to break the Welsh Senior record of 52.78m. I also hope to receive a GB U23 vest and to compete at the European Throwing Cup, which I was selected for this year but unfortunately the competition was cancelled due to Covid-19. I also aspire to compete at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, so that is definitely a major goal to work towards. “
With her recent British Athletics Championships achievement in place, it will be exciting to see how Moule will perform in future competitions to come when representing the University.
Cardiff University’s Athletics Club (CUAC) also commented about the amazing accomplishments from all of their representing students and their performance over the weekend at the British Athletics Championships.
“After a very disrupted season for all it was great for our athletes to represent Cardiff University at the British Championships, even with tougher qualifying standards and limited event sizes.”
CUAC went on further to praise its athletes over their adaptation to the interruption of the season and current circumstances due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We have had great success in BUCS indoors, so the pause in competition could have disrupted the momentum. However, the athletes embraced virtual competition and the change in training, and we have seen a return to competition at all levels within the club.”
With the sporting world finally returning to some sort of normality, CUAC are looking forward to returning to a new academic year and welcoming new students to the team.
“We are very excited to keep seeing the club grow in terms of competing on a high-level stage but also in supporting each athlete to enjoy the sport and achieve their goals.”