Two Middlesex University students have been selected to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games.
Second year Psychology student James Davis and second year Sports Science student Lutalo Massop-Muhammad will compete in fencing and taekwondo respectively for Team GB.
“It’s a great honour to be selected to represent my country,” said James Davis, who was the highest finishing British men’s foilist in all four World Cups so far this year. “To be honest, it is still quite surreal and I hope I can make the most of it,” he added.
Lutalo, who won gold for Great Britain in the European Taekwondo championships in May, will compete in the under 80kg weight category.
“It’s fantastic to be selected,” said Lutalo. “Coming off the back of the win in the European Championships, I have a good chance of doing well. I’m especially happy because I‘m a local boy from Walthamstow - an Olympic borough - so it’s a fantastic opportunity to compete in my home town.”
Both James and Lutalo have been training intensively for the Games and Middlesex is helping them manage both their studies and training.
“Middlesex has been fantastic and very supportive from the beginning - even before I was in the running to compete in the Games,” said Lutalo. “The sports department and my lecturers have been really helpful. So, I’m not just representing Team GB in the Olympic but Middlesex University as well.”
James chose to defer the year and will come back to his studies after the Olympics. “I owe a big thank you to both Stella Sipple (Deputy Head of Sport and Recreation) and Dr Linda Duffy (Director of Programmes, Psychology); they are two people I have frequently dealt with this year, helping me juggle my studies and supporting me since I joined Middlesex,” said James.
“I have been working with Jon Cree (Lecturer in Sport) for the past three years at University. He helped me reach my potential. When I first came to the University, I was not in the best shape. He helped me become fitter and I lost 30 kg,” added James.
The University has opened its doors to the rest of the Team GB fencing team as well. Along with James, Team GB have been working with Middlesex’s experts in the new Human Movement Lab.
Other Middlesex students could also compete in London 2012. Theo Spalding- Mackintosh, a third year Sport & Exercise Science student, is a reserve in the men’s Judo, while a number of Middlesex students will be competing in the Olympic athletic trials next weekend in Birmingham.
Mel Parker, Head of Sport and Recreation at the University, said: “We’ve been lucky enough to have an amazing year of sport at Middlesex and, on behalf of the University, I would like to offer my congratulations to all our athletes who have been chosen to complete at such a prestigious event. “