University of Nottingham players on the mixed doubles podium

It’s all gold for Nottingham at BUCS event

Paul Stimpson

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The University of Nottingham dominated the national university championships with a clean sweep of the gold medals.

Competing on home soil at David Ross Sports Village, UoN students won all five gold medal matches at the British Universities and Colleges’ Sport (BUCS) Table Tennis Championships.

Victories for Diruiqi Yang and David McBeath in the individual events added to golds in the mixed, women’s and men’s doubles.

Hundreds of the country’s best university table tennis players descended upon the David Ross Sports Village to compete for national honours, and the success did not end there for the hosts, who took home 16 out of a possible 20 medals available by adding four silvers medals and seven bronzes.

International Commercial Law student Diruiqi Yang won all three golds available to her, the top seed beating No 3 seed and team-mate Haoyu Liu, 3-1 (11-7, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8) in the Women’s Singles final. Bronzes went to Emily Bolton (University of Bedfordshire) and Nottingham’s Lois Peake.

Yang combined with Liu to win the women’s doubles 3-1 (11-3, 7-11, 11-2, 11-6) against Sarah Menghistab & Tsz Yan Nancy Yeh (Swansea University) and partnered Sining Zhang to win the Mixed Doubles 3-1 (7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6) against Tianyuan Liu & Haoyu Liu.

A particularly tense moment of the weekend was when McBeath went head to head with Nottingham team-mate, Zhang in the Men’s Singles final and it was the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist’s experience which proved crucial as McBeath claimed gold with a 3-2 (11-7, 3-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7) victory. The bronze medallists were Tianyuan Liu and University College London’s Helshan Weerasinghe.

The men’s doubles final was another all-Nottingham final as Zhang & Tianyuan Liu took on McBeath & Josh Bennett, and the former emerged as 3-1 (11-5, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3) winners.

UoN head coach Kelly Sibley said: “It’s such a fantastic achievement for our club to win 16 medals and to come away with five out of five gold medals again is incredible and credit to our outstanding athletes.

“As the Head Coach of the programme, I’m very proud of every single student that took part this weekend. Our team spirit was brilliant and the performances matched up.”

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