Leeds Beckett stars shine on the Gold Coast
16 April 2018 - Guy Atkinson
The Commonwealth Games has captured the public’s imagination over the past fortnight with Leeds Beckett students and alumni at the beating heart of it.
Our Team Leeds Beckett superstars have shown their breathtaking skill and endurance across sports such as race walking, diving and netball on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Leading the charge with a stunning gold medal in the netball was Natalie Haythornthwaite. The Roses, competing in their first major final, claimed gold with a dramatic 52-51 victory against Australia thanks to Helen Housby's last-second winner.
She wasn't the only member of Team Leeds Beckett to walk away with a medal, however.
Alistair Brownlee, Tom Bosworth and Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee grabbed silvers in the mixed team relay triathlon, men's 20km race walk and basketball respectively.
Tom, who graduated in 2013 after studying BSc (Hons) Sports Performance, was agonisingly close to a gold, but was pipped by home favourite Dane Bird-Smith during a pulsating finish.
He was delighted with his silver, though, and welcomed the opportunity to put his sport on the map: "I like to put on a show and I'm glad Dane walked away with the medal. Some people doubt what race walking is about - well we put on a show there.
"It was entertaining and that is what the sport is all about."
Emily Scarratt and Vicky Fleetwood picked up bronze medals for England in the rugby sevens, as did Laura Weightman in the 5000m and Emily Campbell in the +90kg weightlifting.
Quentin Rew, Yona Knight-Wisdom, Alex Bell, Gemma Bridge, Callum Wilkinson and Nicole Burns all also made finals and can leave Australia with their heads held high after some wonderful showings.
It’s not just on the tracks and courts that our students and alumni have shone, with a host of graduates also contributing behind the scenes to ensure the Games ran smoothly. Read their stories here and here.