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Commonwealth champs found their wow factor at Brunel

Jess Gordon-Brown scooped silver in the women's 59 kg weightlifting

Four athletics superstars who shone at Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games last week had a boost up the sporting stratosphere by being at Brunel.

Heptathlete Holly Mills put in an epic performance with an 800m win on Wednesday, finishing 4th overall in what was her first major outdoor championship.

“There is sure to be much more to come from Holly in future,” said Professor Costas Karageorghis, Brunel’s Head of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences.

“Holly went all out in the final event of the heptathlon – the 800 metres – which she won in emphatic style.”




Holly, who graduated in sport sciences last year, has seen a stellar start to her career. She came 4th in the Manchester Commonwealth Games Heptathlon, which is seven different events. And in March, she took 4th in the Pentathlon (five events) at the 2022 World Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Fellow sports, health and exercise scientist Ellie McCartney, 22, had not long returned her graduation day hat and gown when she finished 7th in the pole vault representing Northern Ireland. Ellie, from Newtonabbey, North Belfast, struck a superb personal best of 4.25m in what was her first major senior athletics championship.

Melissa Courtney-Bryant, 28, from Poole finished 10th for Wales in the women’s 1500m on Friday. She has both a Brunel BSc and MSc in sport, health and exercise sciences and trains in Poole.


And Jessica Gordon Brown, who took silver in the women's 59 kg weightlifting, was coached by Kristian McPhee in Brunel’s Indoor Athletics Centre, where she works part-time on reception. University of Brighton graduate Jessica, 26, from Harefield, Hillingdon also coaches judo, gymnastics and weightlifting.

“It’s wonderful to see Brunel alumni and those training in our world-class facilities performing so well at Birmingham 2022,” said Mark Burgess, Brunel’s Head of Sport. “Massive congratulations to Jess in particular on her silver medal.

“Hopefully they can all use this experience as a great springboard for the Paris 2024 Olympics and we look forward to seeing them back training at Brunel soon.”