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Sport Scholar goes for gold at World University Games

This summer NTU Sport Table Tennis Scholar, Evie Collier, was given the chance of a lifetime after being selected to represent Great Britain at the World University Games in South Korea.

Evie Collier
Evie Collier represented Great Britain at the World University Games in South Korea

This summer NTU Sport Table Tennis Scholar, Evie Collier, was given the chance of a lifetime after being selected to represent Great Britain at the World University Games in South Korea.

Battling it out against the top players in the world, Evie made through to the final 32 – here she talks about her experience of competing in a multi-sport games.

"Competing at the World University Games has been an amazing experience and one I shall definitely not forget. This event is the second largest multi-sport event behind the Olympics. The travelling was very tiring but the view of the athlete's village when we arrived and the atmosphere within the team more than made up for the lack of sleep. The athlete's village catered for everything from beauty salons and the latest technology gadgets to a 24-hour dining hall with a variety of food. Within the camp we had designated GB physios, which worked with us closely on a daily basis to ensure we were ready for when we competed.

My first official outing was attending the Opening Ceremony. We were greeted by cheering volunteers eager to high five us and give us food, the atmosphere was electric with all the athletes merging and swapping badges and taking pictures. No words can describe the feeling of walking out into a world cup stadium wearing GB kit and greeting 55,000 people waving flags. It's a moment I will never forget. We were introduced to traditional and Korean culture and there was a huge sense of pride and achievement watching the flame light the lamp signifying the start of the games.

The Table Tennis venue was extremely vast with 12 competition tables spaced out and a separate playing venue just for training. In our first training slot we were placed next to china - the favourites to win most of the Table Tennis events. Our first event was to be the mixed doubles. Unfortunately we didn't get off to the best start, Sean and I lost to Sweden after a close match with strong bursts of highly competitive play we were unable to stop them winning three to one.

After this I was excited to start my singles campaign. I flew out of the blocks winning my first international match 3-0 against Algeria, with my send match straight away that afternoon, the tight turn around resulted in a loss to the wold ranked #200. Despite this loss I still had a chance to get through my group and I made this target a reality when I beat Venezuela after fighting very hard to secure the win over her. As my first international competition, the realisation that I had made it through the group stages was outstanding. I knew that whatever happened from this point onwards could only add to my personal success. In the last 32 I was put against world number 62. On paper she should have beaten me easily, however I played extremely well and ended up taking a set and keeping it close against her. The final result was a loss at four to one but the pride I felt in myself after playing some of the best table tennis in my life overshadowed my loss. My opponent ended up becoming the bronze medallist so I was very pleased with the result.

Outside of my individual competition the whole GB squad bonded amazingly. We all managed to go and support each in other sports especially getting behind the GB Tennis pair to cheer them on to win Gold. At this match we were definitely the loudest crowd by far. One other unique trip was the one arranged for the squad to go to the British Embassy to meet the President of FISU (International University Sports Federation) and also the assistant chief of the embassy. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves listening to the speakers.

This whole experience has been amazing and more than I could ever have imagined. Many thanks goes to NTU for the support they have given me to get me to the games but also to Rushcliffe Physio and Sport 981 for preparing me and making sure I was in peak condition ahead of leaving for the games."

NTU Sport would like to congratulate Evie on her success and wish her all the best for her upcoming season.

To keep up to date with Evie and all of our Sport scholars achievements make sure you follow @NTUSport on Twitter.

Sport Scholar goes for gold at World University Games

Published on 15 October 2015
  • Category: Sport

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