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Team Sunderland BUCS Nationals weekend review

A weekend of action in South Yorkshire saw Team Sunderland bring a medal home from their trip to Sheffield.

Ellie O’Halloran with her BUCS 2024 medal.

In the athletics, Elite Athlete Ellie O’Halloran competed in the final indoor event of the year and picked up a bronze medal in the women’s ambulant shot put, throwing 7.83 metres at the event on Sunday.

“I’m very proud of my performance,” said O’Halloran after receiving her medal. “Trainings been going so well, it’s a good way to finish the season.

“I feel like extra training this winter had more in the way that the outcome has been more consistent over the throws, which is good.

“BUCS this year’s been amazing with seeing familiar faces, it’s a nice way to finish the season. Especially because you compete with the same people all the time.”

Team Sunderland Badminton’s Tee Cheng Bin at the 2024 BUCS Nationals.

Meanwhile in the badminton, a strong showing from Jordan Lee and Tee Cheng Bin saw them avoid losing a set until the final qualification round – where cramp for Bin began to play into effect in their third game of the day.

“I feel sad,” Bin told SportsByte after defeat in the qualification prevented the men’s double team reaching the round of 16. “I feel so sorry for my partner because my leg has a little bit of cramp, so I can’t say I (gave) 100% for myself.

“I think if I’m not cramped maybe the game could have been easier, and maybe we could win.”

Team Sunderland Elite Athlete Sasha Dworkin.

In the same ilk as O’Halloran, fellow Elite Athlete Sasha Dworkin also competed on the weekend – in the women’s epee fencing discipline on Sunday.

Getting through a tough poules (group stage) alongside Lili Fehertoi-Nagy and Sara Diab, who finished ranked 10th and 24th rank on the day respectively, Dworkin was victorious in her round of 68 bout against Anniko Firman.

Handed another tough foe in the number two rank at the start of the day, Queen Mary’s Kaya Burrows, Dworkin admitted there was a good quality of fencing this year: “It was a really tough final bout, there was a really strong standard of fencing this year.

“It was a good experience. Good practice as always competing, and it’s good when someone who is better than you on the day quite clearly beats you because you’re never wondering what happened, or if you were slightly better what would happen – but been good to get a couple of fights in.

“I’m hoping to get some more training in after my final exams this year, and then hopefully we get a round closer next year.”

Team Sunderland Climbing president practicing Dry Tooling.

For climbing it was a year of progression with several of their climbers beating their previous scores in a format that has changed since last year’s Nationals – but for some it was a new experience altogether.

“I think it overall was a really positive experience,” said team president Jasmine Thompson. “We got a lot of new climbers down who hadn’t really been in a competition environment before, everyone was super supportive and encouraging and a lot of people got higher scores than they expected going into it and a lot of people beat their scores from last year.

“The set up of the competition was a little bit different this year from last year. There were 30 climbs rather than 25, and there was a lot more queuing so a lot of people timed out on their scores so we’re going to work a lot more on like climbing tactics and making sure we do the more popular climbs early on when it’s less busy and then moving to do the easier climbs that are less popular later in the competition.

“There was two Sheffield climbers in the men’s and women’s finals, and that’s a lot to do with the fact that it’s their home wall. They are good climbers, but they get the edge over competitors from other really strong universities because they know the walls really well, they know the climbing holds and they know roughly the route setting. It is very different from going over to Sunderland wall and doing boulder problems there.”