Three days, five sports, twenty medals

In the penultimate weekend in February, University of Edinburgh’s finest athletes descended onto Sheffield for BUCS Nationals. The weekend saw athletes from Athletics, Badminton, Climbing, Fencing, and Swimming compete for BUCS Individual titles. Read more to find out the highlights from a very successful weekend for the University of Edinburgh.

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Three days, five sports, twenty medals


In the penultimate weekend in February, University of Edinburgh’s finest athletes descended onto Sheffield for BUCS Nationals. Often this weekend is a particular highlight for many of our athletes, as they get the opportunity to test their limits against the best student opposition UK wide. Donning the green Edinburgh’s jerseys were our Badminton team, athletics, and climbing, while our swimmers wore the well recognisable UofE swim caps and our fencers embracing their armour. In the three days of action our five teams in the five sports represented our University exceptionally well, demonstrating the utmost sportsmanship to coincide with some immense talent.

The city of Sheffield ably hosted this big event despite the challenging logistics from the three different event locations. We had our swimmers and fencers located at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, while our athletics and badminton players battled it out at the English Institute of Sport and our climbers situated at the Climbing works.

Coming home with a haul of 20 medals Edinburgh’s athletes showcased their talents on the big stage with plenty of PBs and breakthrough performances out with the medal tables too. It was in the swimming event that Edinburgh were particularly strong at. In arguably the highest standard of competition off the 5 sports, was to be found in the pool, with student athletes across the UK who are Olympic medallists, Commonwealth medallists and national record holders in action.


A couple of notable swims of the weekend for Edinburgh must go to Kara Hanlon and Scott Gibson. Kara swam her way to a Scottish record in the 100m breastroke convincingly taking gold in 1:07.64. While Scott won gold in the 50m backstroke in 25.60 breaking the Scottish national record in the process. David Cumberlidge too had a golden opening day with 1st in the 50m freestyle.

 In the relay events Edinburgh were seriously strong contenders for Gold but had to settle for silver in the women’s 4x100m medley in 4:09.33 consisting of Kara Hanlon, Ioanna Sacha, Chiara Schlosshan and Katie Robertson. Adding to the existing silver was our women’s 4x100m freestyle team made up of Katie Robertson, Nicole Ricci, Monique Oliver, and Katie Goodburn. In the mixed relay team event in the 4x100m medley Edinburgh won silver, with the quartet made up of Scott Gibson, Kara Hanlon, Ciara Schloss, and David Cumberlidge. In the 4x100m freestyle men’s relay Edinburgh won bronze consisting of Ross Leslie, Tom Carswell, Scott Gibson and David Cumberlidge.

Chiara Schlosshan got her second silver medal in the 200m butterfly in 2:15.01. A further silver was secured by Uiseann Cooke in the 200m breastroke. Uiseann was not finished yet with a bronze in the 100m breastroke, while Tom Carswell won bronze in the 50m butterfly. Kara Hanlon with a silver in the 200m breastroke and Ioanna Sacha silver in the 200m backstroke. Monique Oliver came away with a silver in the 400m freestyle event.

A successful weekend of swim action in the pool at Ponds Forge was had by our University of Edinburgh swimming team. This made swim coach Kris Jones very proud with the performances on show. Kris Jones: “We have had 2 Scottish records, a BUCS record, but the guys have really stepped up, It’s a really good team event "

Swimmers in the pool ready to start a backstroke race, one with a black cap with U of E written in red on it.


On the badminton courts we had 12 players competing in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles event. This was a knockout contest from the first round so our players had to produce their best from the get-go, with the winners advancing from the best of three sets to the second round and so forth. Some notable performances from our badminton players were Calum Atterbury and Emily Harrison in the mixed doubles reaching the last 16. Emily Harrison and Ai Jiang both reached the last 16 too in the women’s doubles, with Ai Jiang bowing out in the last 16 in her singles event. The quality on show on the courts was evident. Although with plenty of second and third round appearances from Edinburgh’s best badminton players, there will have been a plentiful amount of experience and skills gained on their weekend showing.

We spoke to badminton player Emily Harrison on the Sunday: “It was so nice for everybody to get such good games because it was nice having so much depth that we could have everybody here”

Two badminton doubles players in action for the university of Edinburgh.


On the 200m indoor running track at the English Institute of Sport Edinburgh had athletes competing in throws, jumps and run events. It was on the track that Edinburgh secured their first athletics medal with Niamh Carr running an exceptionally well-paced race for a silver medal in a PB of 4:26.39.

Niamh spoke to us afterwards:

“To be honest my main goal was to make the final and hang in for a fast time. I hadn’t really thought about the medals, but a few people said to me that I could have an outside shot at a medal. Plan was to go with the lead group and see what happens from there. I was quite shocked to still be with the lead group with 200 to go. My training friends all know I love a wee 200 aha so went for it and managed to pass the girl in second for the silver medal”

Another PB in the same race was ran by Charlotte Clare for fifth in 4:31.04. Karolina Wamsler threw a second PB of the weekend in the shot-put final in 11.47 for 7th position in Sunday’s final.

Now over to the eagerly anticipated mascot race. 

We may not have the fastest of the fastest athletes surfacing the track at the English Institute of Sport, though we do for sure have the fastest panda. Every year there is mascot race where one lucky individual from whatever university that owns some sort of mascot, dons their trainers or spikes to race a lap of the track. Despite the challenge of running in such a thing it is not too uncommon for Lions, or Thor’s to run this in less than 30 seconds. In years previously there has just been 2 heats, though clearer this year the demand for this event was far higher than usual. The 200m loop witnessed 4 heats with the fastest and the 2 fastest losers advancing to the final.

Lapping up the applause on the home straight was our beloved panda, Hector. Unfortunately, our Hector was too busy thinking about bamboo with its slimer opponents a level above.

An Edinburgh University athlete in the lead, coming round the bend of an indoor athletics track.


In the fencing discipline we had athletes competing in the Foil, Sabre, and Epee. The disciplines took place in all three days with the Edinburgh contingent enjoying a great degree of medal success.

Stand out results come from an all-Edinburgh final between Chloe Dickson and Giulia Gasparin on day one with Chloe winning Gold and Giulia the silver. The next again day Chloe won silver in the Foil. Continuing that medal success was Giulia Gasparin who fought her way to a silver in the sabre. In the Epee event Patrycja Krzyzaniak winning bronze in the Epee.

Unlike some other sports, the athletes who bow out in the earlier rounds in fencing, still have plenty to play for. Making another one to two for Edinburgh’s fencers was Chan Paul Po Ling and Susie Seddon Cowell in the women’s sabre plate final taking first and second with a University College London athlete in third.

We spoke to Edinburgh fencing coach Don post medal presentation on the Saturday evening:

“Oh, it’s been absolutely fabulous. They did really well. I can’t say I’m surprised because I know how good they are”

Two fencers mid-fight


Over in the climbing works Edinburgh had 12 climbers with six a piece in the men’s and women’s events.

Edinburgh claimed a fantastic bronze in the women’s team event fronted by Edinburgh’s best individual performance of the championships with Hannah Smith in 5th  on 190 points. Lisa Kean with 171 and Keira Farmer with 153 completed the trio to gather 3rd overall for the women’s team prize. Making up the rest of the contingent was Lauryn Kirkbride with 139 points, Ellie Paul with 138 points and Eve Smith with 107 points.

Edinburgh’s men finished high up in the team standings as well in 5th spot out of 36 different universities. Each member in the men’s team performed admirably in the top half of the standings with David Miedzybrodzki leading the Edinburgh standings with 210 points, backed up by Max Hammer in 201, Johnnie Noel- Baker in 185 leading Edinburgh to fifth spot overall. Not far behind on the standings was Jacob Inwald with 180, Nick Dow with 174 and Samuel Hummel on 158 points.

We had a chat with climber Nick Dow on the Sunday:

“It was a fantastic atmosphere, everybody had a great time, and we are looking forward to doing even better next year”.

The climbing team standing in front of a multi-coloured indoor bouldering wall.

In the utmost spirit of sport at Edinburgh the entire climbing team came and cheered on the remaining Edinburgh fencers, rather than sitting in the café prior to the bus departure. Following the principles of our #Weareedinburgh it was great to see our fencers being supported right up until a fencer reached their 15 points. Even a couple of empty bottles of Irn Bru was seen being used as a sword as two climbers comically aimed at copying the action metres ahead of them.

Overall, this was a fantastic weekend of sport for all of Edinburgh and each and every one of our competitors should have went away with their heads held high. Thank you very much to our athlete coaches, volunteers, and athletes for making this great event happen.

To become more involved or to learn more about what happened in the BUCS Nationals weekend, check out the Instagram channel @uoesportsunion and keep an eye out for a further video circulating on Facebook and soon on YouTube.

Photos by Sydney Kwok


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Three days, five sports, twenty medals

In the penultimate weekend in February, University of Edinburgh’s finest athletes descended onto Sheffield for BUCS Nationals. The weekend saw athletes from Athletics, Badminton, Climbing, Fencing, and Swimming compete for BUCS Individual titles. Read more to find out the highlights from a very succREAD MORE