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Montell Douglas breaks British record for 100m

Speaking about her stunning performance Montell said, “It's given me a massive amount of confidence. It was now or never - I had to prove myself. It feels surreal and I can't even comprehend it.“

Montell is today due to meet Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete to run the mile in less than four minutes, when he is awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of the University today, at the Brunel University campus, in Uxbridge, and she, too is attending her own graduation ceremony

Kathy Cook, the previous record-holder and also a past Brunel graduate, held the time of 11.10 secs since 1981. That was until Montell, from Bromley, South-East London swept it aside with a time of 11.05 secs at the the Loughborough European Athletics Permit meeting.

Montell is now a hot favourite to take one of the two remaining women's 100m places in the GB 2008 Olympic squad. The final selection is tomorrow.

In the initial Olympic Trials in Birmingham, on Saturday 12 July, Montell finished second in the 100m in a time of 11.35 secs, just outside the Olympic A qualifying standard of 11.30 secs. This earned Montell selection for the 4 x 100m relay at the Olympic Games in Beijing next month, but the selectors named only winner Jeanette Kwakye for the 100m.

Douglas, who had run a 10.95 sec wind-assisted time in her heat, added: “The key thing for me was self-belief. I didn' t run to the best of my ability at the trials so I put a bit of pressure on myself. My coach, Ayo Falola, has been brilliant this year. We have worked so hard and it was time to step it up and produce and we have done that. After the heat, he said I just have to do the same again for the final and I did.“

Pro Vice Chancellor Ian Campbell, co-leader of Brunel's Olympic programme commented: "We are delighted that Montell has achieved this fabulous result and for it to come in the week of her graduation is very special indeed; a testament to the dedication that she has shown in both her studies in Sport Sciences and in her training at Brunel.

His co-leader Neil Young, added: “Today the University was already planning to honour one record breaker, Sir Roger Bannister, with an Honorary degree so it is fantastic that instead we will be honouring two. The whole University is immensely proud and wishes her and her team mates every success in Beijing.“

Douglas will next race in the 100m at the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on 26 July against US and Jamaican stars Allyson Felix and world champion Veronica Campbell.

Montell's run also confirms that Brunel University has long been a hotbed of talent in British women's sprinting. Four of the six fastest women of all time have studied and trained at Brunel:

1st Montell Douglas 11.05s 2008
2nd Kathy Cook (Borough Road College) 11.10s 1981
4th Abiodun Oyepitan 11.15s 2004
6th Laura Turner 11.19s 2007

With world class facilities across a broad range of sports and an established reputation as a high-performance centre for UK Athletics, Brunel looks forward to further sporting success this summer in the Beijing Olympics and will be opening its doors to international teams in the run-up to the 2012 Games in London.

For information on Brunel University's Athletics Performance Programme contact Neil Young on 01895 265315, or neil.young@brunel.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

Further details from Brunel University Press Office: 01895 265585; email: helen.jacobus@brunel.ac.uk