UEL’s Willmott delighted wihth Olympic spot
PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 April 2016
Swimmer joins boxer Okolie in Team GB squad
Aimee Willmott became the second University of East London student to qualify for this summer’s Rio Olympics after being named in the 26-strong Team GB swimming squad today.
Willmott joins fellow UEL student Lawrence Okolie, who booked his place in Rio by winning his heavyweight boxing division at the European Olympic qualifying tournament in Turkey on Sunday.
And the 23-year-old, who is studying for a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science, will be competing at her second Olympics following her Team GB debut at London 2012.
Immediately after the team announcement, she tweeted: “So happy to have been picked to represent GB at my second Olympic Games. Rio here I come!”
Willmott’s selection was confirmed after her strong showing at last week’s British Championships and Olympic Trials in Glasgow, where she won three medals, including a gold in the 200 metres butterfly.
In her main event, the 400m individual medley, Willmott was narrowly beaten by Commonwealth champion Hannah Miley, but her time of 4min 35.52secs was inside British Swimming’s selection criteria.
Having won two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, Willmott is hopeful she can add to her medal collection in Rio and is currently ranked fourth in the world in the 400m medley after posting a time of 4.34.82 in Antwerp earlier this year.
Willmott combines studying at UEL’s Docklands campus with training in the London 2012 Olympic pool as part of the London Aquatics Centre Performance Programme (LACPP).
Lisa Bates, LACPP head coach, said: “We’re all ecstatic that Aimee has made the team and we’re now looking forward to getting back to training on Monday and moving on further.
“The way the team has been selected, Aimee wouldn’t be in the team in she wasn’t in medal territory. She’s going to be very competitive in Rio.”
David Cosford, UEL’s Director of Sport, added: “Rio can’t come fast enough now. It’s great news that Aimee has been given a thoroughly deserved place on the swimming team.
“She is world class at the 400 medley and has a realistic chance of making a final and possibly winning a medal.
“With Lawrence Okolie also making the Olympic boxing team, we are absolutely amazed by the sporting talent at UEL. It’s why we are, quite rightly, considered a centre for sporting excellence.”
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