Leeds Beckett University on the road to Rio...our students and alumni at the Olympics
15 June 2016 - Simon Gaskell
The countdown to the Olympic Games is underway – with less than two months until the action starts in Rio.
Among the world class athletes will be a number that have honed their skills as students at Leeds Beckett and we will be keeping a close eye on their progress.
Here are the men and women from our university to keep an eye out for when the games of the 31st Olympiad begins…
Alistair Brownlee, 28 – Triathlon, Team GB
Alistair, MSc Finance 2013, won gold in London four years ago and was unsurprisingly named in the GB squad for Rio alongside brother Jonny and Leeds-based Gordon Benson.
Still trains on campus under the guidance of Leeds Beckett Triathlon Head Coach Jack Maitland and former Director of Sport Malcolm Brown.
Tom Bosworth, 26 – 20km Race Walking, Team GB
Tom, BSc (Hons) Sports Performance 2013, secured his place in Rio with victory in the British Olympic 20km Race Walk Trials at the British Grand Prix of Race Walking at Woodhouse Moor at the start of June.
Yona Knight-Wisdom, 21 – 3m Springboard Diving, Jamaica
Yona, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science final-year student, became the first ever Jamaican diver to qualify for the Olympics when he won a silver medal at the Diving World Cup, also in Rio, back in February.
He took up the sport after watching the diving competition at the 2004 Athens Games.
Brendan Boyce, 29 - 50km Race Walk, Ireland
BSc (Hons) Sports Performance graduate Brendan, of Letterkenny Athletic Club, has been selected after previously competing at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow and London Olympics.
He finished 29th in 2012 and 25th in Moscow and is coached by current 50km Race Walk World Champion Rob Heffernan.
Alex Wright, 25 - 50km Race Walk, Ireland
Leeds Beckett alumnus Alex, of Leevale Athletic Club, has been selected alongside Brendan having finished 31st at the 2013 World Championships.
Quentin Rew, 31 - 20km Race Walk and 50km Race Walk, New Zealand
Leeds Beckett graduate Quentin was 27th in the 50km race at the last Olympic Games and is back in Rio after finishing a highly-creditable 10th at the Beijing 2015 World Championships in the 50km race and 17th in the 20km event.
Sarah Barrow, 27 – 10m Platform Diving, Team GB
BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science graduate Sarah came fifth in the synchro at the 2012 Games in London and will make her Olympic debut in Rio in the individual event.
She overcame two years of chronic shin problems and being dropped from the synchronised line-up to win the 10m platform title at the British Diving Championships and was included in the Olympic squad when it was revealed in June.
It's official! I made it & have been selected for my second Olympic Games. Makes everything this year worth it 👊🏽 pic.twitter.com/vUkFxtHEnQ— Sarah Barrow (@SarahBarrow) June 17, 2016
Laura Weightman, 24 – 1,500m, Team GB
Laura, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science 2013, secured one of the two quota places alongside Laura Muir after finishing in the top two at the British Athletics Championships in Birmingham.
Her appearance in Rio comes four years after she made the 1,500m final at London 2012.
Alastair Brogdon, 28 – Men’s Hockey, Team GB
Alastair, BA (Hons) Marketing 2010, has more than 100 caps for England and helped Great Britain to fourth in the recent Hockey Champions Trophy. He was included in the 16-strong squad when it was revealed at the end of June.
Sam Quek, 27 – Women’s Hockey, Team GB
Sam, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science 2010, recently made her 100th international appearance for Great Britain against the Netherlands and realised her Olympic dream after being included in the women's squad when it was unveiled. Team GB won bronze in 2012 and will be hoping for similar success this time around.
Qais Ashfaq, 23 - Boxing, Team GB
Qais secured his place in Rio at the Olympic qualifier in Samsun, Turkey, in April and has set his sights on gold in the Bantamweight division in Rio. He studied Sports Performance at our University.
Emily Scarratt, 26 – Rugby Sevens, Team GB
Emily, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science 2011, has been named captain of the 12-strong Team GB squad as rugby makes its debut at the games alongside golf.
Lauren Smith, 24 - Badminton doubles, Team GB
Lauren, who studied Sports Coaching at our University, will partner Heather Olver in the women's doubles. The duo are among eight badminton players selected by the British Olympic Association (BOA).
Could still make it...
Kirsty Mackay, 29 - Women’s Hockey, Team GB
Kirsty, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science 2008, is a goalkeeper in the senior set-up and could yet have a role to play after being named as one of three reserves in the squad.