Willmott powers to place at World Championships

UEL student Aimee Willmott has qualified for the World Championships in Russia (pic; Ewen Laycock/UEL)

UEL student Aimee Willmott has qualified for the World Championships in Russia (pic; Ewen Laycock/UEL) - Credit: Archant

UEL swimmer books trip to Russia

UEL’s star swimmer Aimee Willmott has gold in her sights again after qualifying for this summer’s World Championships in Russia.

The 21-year-old, already one of Britain’s top swimmers with two Commonwealth and two European medals, will compete in the 400m individual medley in Kazan in August.

Willmott secured her place by swimming a time of 4.33.66 at the GB trials at the London Aquatics Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“I’m really proud of Aimee” said Lisa Bates, head coach of the London Aquatics Centre Performance Programme (LACPP).

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“If she does well at the World Championships it establishes her in a great position amongst the world’s best competitors one year out from Rio.”

Willmott had to get a specific qualifying time which was set on last year’s rankings. The time was the sixth fastest time in the world last year.

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“I’m really excited to have qualified,” she said. “I look forward to competing as I get one step closer to Rio.”

David Cosford, Director of Sport at UEL, said Willmott did remarkably well to balance the demands of studying for a degree, while being a world class athlete.

“At UEL we pride ourselves on supporting our students who participate in high performance sport, and this is a great example of what can be achieved,” said Cosford.

“We are committed to ensuring that the LACCP based at the London Aquatics Centre, becomes one of the most prestigious swimming programmes in the UK.

“We hope many more young and talented swimmers can emerge over the next decade who can reach the levels of performance that Aimee has achieved.”

Willmott won three gold medals at the BUCS championships in February, spearheading UEL’s best-ever medal haul.

Cosford said she was an excellent role model for aspiring swimmers, adding: “We are very fortunate and grateful that she is associated with UEL and the LACPP.”

UEL’s Michael Gunning reached the final of the 200m butterfly, but agonisingly missed out on a bronze medal by less than half a second, finishing in a time of 1:59:53.

Gunning also swam a personal best of 3.55 in the 400m frestyle, finishing 10th.

For more details on the high performance sport programme at UEL and the LAC contact headcoach@lacpp.co.uk or visit lacpp.co.uk.

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