Loughborough University alumnae Sophie Coldwell and Vicky Holland have become the latest Loughborough athletes to secure their places on the plane to Australia for next April’s Commonwealth Games, the triathletes named in Team England’s line-up.
After winning gold at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Holland will head down under to defend her title on Thursday 5th April, and if she does so will win the first medal of the 2018 Games as the women’s triathlon kicks off proceedings.
Having only taken up triathlon after starting her degree at Loughborough, Holland’s career has gone from strength to strength, culminating in her Commonwealth title and Olympic bronze in Rio in 2016.
Having graduated this summer with a BSc in Human Biology, Coldwell has secured selection for her first senior multi-sport Games after an impressive summer which saw her win European Championship silver and World U23 bronze.
Excelling through the age groups Coldwell has already had a flavour of a multi-sport environment after competing at the Youth Olympic Games in 2013, which incidentally were also in Australia. That being said she couldn’t hide her delight at being named as part of the England team:
Being selected for Team England is a dream come true and I can’t quite believe that it has happened. Every athlete wants to go to the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games, so to be going now at just 22 I’m just so happy.
Despite graduating in July Coldwell still lives and trains in Loughborough as part of the Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre, which is going from strength to strength. However her Loughborough journey started a number of years ago.
If you asked anyone about Loughborough University the first thing that comes to mind is the amazing place this is for sport. I was very fortunate that I live close and have been dropping into swim sessions since I was about 16. Everything you need is here, from the academic side of things and the support that they offer student-athletes, the scholarships, my coach and of course the facilities. Everything is literally on your doorstep and you couldn’t ask for anything more – it makes life easy so that you can get the best out of yourself.
Having beaten off stiff competition for place on the plane, Coldwell won’t just be making up the numbers on Australia’s Gold Coast, and will focus on giving her absolute best as opposed to the outcome.
I want to put in a medal winning performance, and whether that gives me a medal or not I just want to step off the course knowing I’ve put in my best possible performance.
Coldwell is the fourth Loughborough based athlete to confirm her Commonwealth Games place this week, after Wales confirmed their para-athletics contingent yesterday. Included were Hollie Arnold and Olivia Breen, Arnold already Paralympic and three time world javelin champion. Breen meanwhile enjoyed a breakthrough 2017, winning long jump gold at the World Para Athletics Championships in London, and has been selected in that event alongside the 100m.