Jacob Paul up and running at World University Games as Luke Johnson progresses on two tennis fronts

24 August 2017

University of Bath graduate Jacob Paul made a confident start to his World University Games campaign on Thursday as he won his 400m hurdles heat in Taipei.

Paul, who studied Sport & Social Sciences and was supported by a Trendell Sports Scholarship, clocked 51.38 to book his place in the third of Friday’s semi-finals (10.57am BST).

In the swimming pool, MJ Church ambassador Jay Lelliott had to settle for a fifth-placed finish in the 800m freestyle as he contested his third final of the week.

He was battling for third place for much of the race with eventual bronze-medallist Sergii Frolov of Ukraine but faded in the closing 100m and was overtaken by Grant Shoults of the United States, touching the wall in 7:55.36.

Sports Performance graduate Lelliott had also finished fifth in the 1,500m freestyle on Tuesday having started a busy week with silver in the 400m freestyle, the third World University Games medal of his career.

Team Bath MCTA Tennis player Luke Johnson and partner Jack Findel-Hawkins progressed to the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles with an excellent 6-4 6-4 win over the number six seeds, Kamil Jerzy Gajewski and Szymon Jan Walkow of Poland. Awaiting them in the last eight are Taipei’s Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Hsien-Yin Peng.

Johnson is also through to the third round of the mixed doubles with Olivia Nicholls after second-round opponents Nadia Almahafza and Zaid Daher of Jordan had to withdraw.

Emma Hurst’s excellent run in the women’s singles came to an end on Centre Court as she was beaten 6-0 6-3 in the fourth round by Taipei’s Ya-Hsuan Lee, the number four seed.

The Sports & Exercise Science student, supported by a Trendell Sports Scholarship, broke the home favourite twice during a battling second set but felt she didn’t play to her best.

“It wasn’t the result I wanted and I’m disappointed in how I played,” said Hurst. “I definitely didn’t serve well, a lot of double faults and a low first-serve percentage which affected my whole service game.

“It’s been a great experience for me at my first World University Games. I played well in both my first and second matches this week, and the experience as a whole in the athletes’ village has been good.”

Sport & Social Sciences student Emily Donovan was on the scoresheet for the GB women’s footballers as they beat Argentina 6-1 in a classification match. They will now face Colombia on Saturday to determine who finishes ninth and tenth overall (9am BST).

The World University Games is the world’s second-largest multi-sport event, after the Olympic Games, and the University of Bath is represented by seven athletes – Lelliott and Anna Hopkin (swimming); Hurst and Johnson (tennis); Jenny Nesbitt and Paul (athletics); and Donovan (football) – plus four support staff – coaches Mark Skimming (swimming), Barry Scollo (tennis), Corinne Yorston (football, strength & conditioning) and Jack Dawkins (physio) – at this year’s event.

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