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University applauds ‘talent, passion and dedication’ of Olympic alumni

Five athletes who studied at Bristol (@BristolUni) were called up for Tokyo in sports as varied as sailing, rugby sevens, long jump, hurdles and rowing.

An alumnus and current student will be heading to the Paralympics between August 24 and September 5.

Matt Birch, Director of Sports, Exercise and Health at the University of Bristol, said: “It has been beyond inspiring to see the talent, dedication and passion of our alumni on display on the greatest stage of them all.

“The whole University was behind them as we watched them compete against the very best in the world. All five pulled out the stops and got some incredible results – a huge well done to all of them.”

Hannah Mills, a Mechanical Engineering graduate, had a stellar games: she was chosen as one of Team GB’s flag bearers and went on to take gold in the 470 sailing, becoming the most decorated female sailor in Olympic history.

“We put everything we are into this and it’s a massive relief,” the 33-year-old said,

“There have been so many incredible female sailors, so to be up there doesn’t feel real. I am sure that will get trumped soon and that will be amazing when it does.

“Hopefully we are inspiring the next generation of women’s sailors and that is important to us, getting people out on the water to enjoy the incredible sport.”

Angus Groom, who studied for a Masters in Stem Cells and Regeneration, took silver in the quadruple sculls. It was a welcome result for the 29-year-old and his crew after a disappointing games for GB Rowing, which saw just two crews from the 45-strong team medal. Angus was previously part of a four-man crew that came fifth in Rio.

Law graduate Jazmin Sawyers came 8th in the long jump, recording a huge 6.8m jump. There was just 20cm between Jazmin’s effort and the 7m winning jump of Germany’s Malaika Mihambo. Jazmin, 27, has won the long jump twice at the British Athletics Championships. She is also a keen singer and has appeared on The Voice!

English and Philosophy graduate, Tom Mitchell, was part of the rugby sevens squad that came fourth overall. It proved a difficult campaign for Tom who, after captaining his team through some testing matches, was forced by injury to watch his team’s 17-12 loss to Argentina in the bronze medal play-off from the sidelines.

Talking after his team’s win over Japan early in the tournament, Tom said: “I’m just so pleased, especially for the boys running out as first-time Olympians. It’s a massive, proud moment for all of us to see them achieve that, and a nod to the second-time Olympian old-heads doing it as well.”

Andrew Pozzi, a MSc Management graduate, came seventh in the 110m hurdles, impressing with his explosive speed. A year ago Andrew, 29, ran a 13.14-second personal best in Monaco – which was around the time the Tokyo games should have taken place. That time would have been enough to get him forth.

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