The Russians are Coming

25 April 2012

Members of the Russian Federation’s athletics team will finalise their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games at the University of Bath, it was announced today (Wednesday).

A 30-strong contingent of Russia’s top track and field athletes will train at the University in the build-up to the Games.

The delegation, which will also include support staff, will arrive on campus on 20 July and depart for the Olympic Village on 1 August.

As well as making use of the world-leading sports facilities at the University, they will also stay in accommodation on campus.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming the Russian athletics team to the University this summer. They are the latest team to choose Bath as their pre-Games base and their decision further enhances our standing as one of the UK’s leading sports training bases.

“We have over 30 Russian students currently studying at Bath and a thriving alumni community and I’m sure they will be thrilled to hear the news.”

Stephen Baddeley, Director of Sport at the University of Bath, said: “The Russian Federation is one of the powerhouses of world athletics and we’re pleased and proud to announce that the Russian athletics team will be training with us at Team Bath in the build-up to the2012 Olympics.

“The Sports Training Village will have a truly international flavour this summer, with athletes from Malaysia, China, Ghana, Egypt and Barbados as well as the UK, and a wide range of other countries, training at Team Bath ahead of 2012.

“We have some of the best sports facilities in the country on a compact and attractive campus, which is a compelling combination for nations and teams looking for a training base,” he added.

Cllr David Dixon, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council already has a very strong relationship with Russia through enjoying the presence of many visitors during the year. As a consequence we are thrilled that we will be welcoming the athletics team in the build up to the Olympic Games.”

The Russian Federation finished second behind the United States in the medal tables at both the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Korea.

The team landed six gold medals, one short of the USA, as well as five silvers and seven bronzes at the Beijing Olympics.

Their medallists included Yelena Isinbayeva, who set who set world and Olympic records en route to gold in the women’s pole vault, while there were also gold medals for Gulnara Galkina-Samitova in the women’s 3000m steeplechase and Olga Kaniskina in the women’s 20k walk.  The women’s 4x100m relay quartet also took gold, while Andrey Silnov won the men’s high jump and Valeriy Borchin won the men’s 20k walk.

World, Commonwealth and European champion 400m hurdler Dai Greene is among the British track and field athletes who train at the University of Bath.  Tasha Danvers, Andy Pozzi, Jack Green, Eilidh Child and Lawrence Clarke also train in the same group coached by Malcolm Arnold, UK Athletics’ National Event Coach – Hurdles.

The Russians are the latest in an impressive list of teams to announce their intention to finalise their 2012 preparations at Team Bath.

China is basing 25 of its top swimmers at the University ahead of the Olympic Games while members of the Malaysian Olympic team will train at the University ahead of the Olympics. The Malaysians have been using the University of Bath as a regular training base since early 2010 in the lead up to large European-based tournaments.

Sports Training Village staff will need to be on their toes once the Olympic Games close on 9 August to turn round the facilities to host the ParalympicsGB camp, featuring ten sports and more than 200 team members, in the run up to the Paralympic Games.

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The University of Bath is The Sunday Times University of the Year 2011/12.

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