The record number of alumni and athletes from St Mary’s University, Twickenham competing at the London 2017 World Athletics Championships have begun their campaign in style.
Sir Mo Farah started the defence of his World 5000m and 10000m titles with a commanding victory. 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 teams to win the Gold Medal in a time of 26:49.51.
Elsewhere, EPACC athlete Charlotte Purdue competed in her first World Championships, running in the Women’s Marathon. Having qualified for the championship as the second place British woman at the London Marathon, she finished as the first placed British woman, 13th overall, in a time of 2:29.48.
Also competing in the Women’s Marathon was Bronze Medallist Amy Cragg, running for the USA. Amy trained at St Mary’s in her final preparations for London 2017 with the Bowerman Track Club, who are based in Oregon. Fellow Bowerman athlete Matthew Hughes also competed in the Men’s 3000m Steeplechase Final, securing a season's best time to finish sixth.
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. Botswana’s Nijel Amos, who trained at St Mary’s with the Oregon Track Club, joined Elliot in his semi-final, finished fifth in the final.
Rio 2016 Olympian 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: “Mo’s competitors put him under intense pressure making for a compelling race; he was up to the challenge and produced his best ever Gold medal winning performance.
"Other St Mary’s athletes have produced some good results. Elliot improved on his Rio performance by making the 800m semi, whilst Beth and Charlie were first Brit home in the 10000m and marathon respectively.”