Four Salford students are achieving success for Great Britain at the World University Summer Games in Kazan, Russia, with two women footballers part of the team that lifted gold last night following a 6-2 thrashing of Mexico.
As captain of GBR Women’s Football, Salford student Michelle Hinnigan, has led the team to astonishing success to reach the final which they won 6-2 last night at the Rubin Stadium in Kazan.
Wins along the way included an 8-0 crushing of Ireland, where Michelle herself contributed a goal and a 1-0 win over eventual bronze medallists Brazil. Sam Chappell is the second Salford student representing her country as part of the national Women’s Football squad.
Outside of her studies in exercise physical activity and health, Michelle from Kirkby plays for Everton Ladies in the English Women’s Super League. She was the first England captain to lift a major trophy since Bobby Moore when she led her team to the women’s European Under 19 Championship and won the Women’s FA Cup whn playing for Everton.
Warrington-based Sam combines studying for a degree in sports rehab with playing for Liverpool and has already represented England at under 19 and under 23 level.
Burscough FC player Tim Horn from Southport, and Witton Albion’s Nicky Platt from Ashton-Under-Lyne are the Salford students in the men’s football squad which has risen to the top of Group C following a decisive win against Malaysia and will play France in the gold medal final tonight.
The World University Games is the second largest multi-sport event in the world, after the Olympic Games. It represents the experience most akin to the Olympics for athletes in terms of scale, village life and competition standard
From 6 July to 17 July, more than 13,500 athletes and members of delegations from 170 countries as well as more than 1,500 media representatives are expected in Kazan. About 100,000 tourists and fans from Russia and abroad will visit Kazan to support their countries. Of the 50 sports venues that will be used for the World University Games, 30 are newly built. The budget for the 2013 World University Games exceeds £3 billion.
President of University of Salford Students’ Union, Mishal Saeed commented: “We are so proud of the amazing sporting achievements of our Salford students, who are representing their country and succeeding on a world stage. Congratulations on their gold medals to Michelle, Sam, and good luck to Tim and Nicky in the big game against France.
“Their huge success shows just what students can achieve when they get involved in sports –the sky really is the limit!”
UPDATE: The men's team lost 3-2 to France after extra time to finish in the silver medal spot.