Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

A Summer of Sport

The summer of 2017 has been extremely successful, both for world sport as a whole and also for British sport. With 3 world championships in the space of a month, athletes and swimmers were able to showcase their talents to audiences in both the UK and Hungary, as well as TV viewers worldwide. Following the success of the British athletes at the Olympic Games in 2016, the world championship teams were obviously eager to keep the success going. And the world was not disappointed.

World Para Athletics Championships

British Athletics got off to a flying start at London Stadium, as the World Para Athletics Championships got underway. Ending the competition with an amazing 39 medals, Team GB proved that their para athletes are getting stronger every year. One of the stars of the championships was Hannah Cockroft, who competed in the 100m, 400m and 800m (all in the T34 category). She won gold medals in all 3 events, proving that she is a force to be reckoned with. Team GB’s 18 gold medals came from a variety of different backgrounds. For example, both T44 100m races were won by British athletes – up-and-coming athlete Sophie Kamlish, and powerhouse athlete Jonnie Peacock. As they collected their medals from both track and field events, it became evident that this was going to be an extremely successful competition for British para athletics. Following the success of last year’s Paralympics, we can see that the discipline is becoming more widely accepted and understood, with many arguing that some para athletes are capable of competing alongside able-bodied athletes. And, considering the triumph of the last few competitions, it is possible that we will see this in the future.

World Swimming Championships

Meanwhile, in Budapest, the world’s most talented swimmers gathered for their championships. Much like the Para Athletics Championships, it was an extremely successful competition for British sport. 2016 Olympic Champion Adam Peaty held onto his 100m breaststroke title and also broke the world record in both the semi-finals and finals of the 50m breaststroke. Great Britain ended the championships with 5 golds, 3 silvers and 3 bronzes, further proving that British swimming is getting stronger and stronger. But, swimmers from other countries also proved their strength. A key example is Team USA’s Katie Ledecky, the most successful female swimmer of all time. She walked away with 5 golds and 1 silver, with the gold medals in a huge variety of distances. Much like the extremely successful Rio Olympics, the 2017 World Swimming Championships was a truly amazing event.

IAAF World Championships

The summer of sport ended with the athletics championships, taking the competition back to the Olympic Stadium. Whilst this competition was as successful for British sport as the Para Athletics just a few weeks before, Team GB did end the championships with 6 medals. One of the big surprises for Britain was the relay events, resulting in a gold medal, 2 silvers and a bronze. Great Britain’s other 2 medals came from Mo Farah, who won a gold and a silver in the last two track events of his career. But, the big shock of the championships came from the short distance events, in the form of Olympic Champion Usain Bolt. With his extremely publicised retirement approaching, the world was expecting a big finish from the Jamaican athlete. But, when it was time for the 100m, Bolt shocked the world by finishing third. Then, just when the world thought the athlete’s final championships couldn’t get any worse, the 4x100m relay ended in disaster as Bolt was unable to finish his leg of the race. Although Jamaica did not have a very successful end to their world championships, many other countries did. Team GB celebrated their relay success, and hopefully this success will continue as we approach Tokyo 2020.