Meet Kingston's Olympic hopefuls for 2012 and beyond
- Name: Ed McKeever
- Age: 28
- Event: K1 (kayak single) 200m sprint
- Best result: World Champion K1 200m, 2010
- Previous education: Accounting and
Finance BA(Hons), Kingston University
- Currently studying: ACCA qualification
Congratulations to Kingston alumnus Ed McKeever who has secured a place at the London 2012 Olympics. Ed secured his spot when he won the K1 (single kayak) 200 metres final at the sprint regatta held at the National Water Sports Centre, in Nottingham, in April.
Ed graduated in 2008 with an Accountancy and Finance BA(Hons). Ed admits that managing his studies, training and competition can be a juggling act at times and is grateful to the University for letting him take his exams out of season. "Juliet Cottingham, my course director, has been extremely supportive. Allowing me to sit my exams outside the main kayaking season, when others were doing re-sits, was a huge help."
Read how Ed's Olympic ambitions have meant leaving his bride-to-be Anya planning another major event.
Image: Balint Vekassy / www.canoephotography.com
- Name: Asha Philip
- Age: 21
- Sport: Athletics
- Event: 100m run
- Best result: Gold at the U18 World Youth Championships in 2007
- Studying: Drama BA(Hons) (final year)
Asha Philip has been training and competing in a variety of sports since she was just four, including trampolining, swimming, gymnastics, tap, ballet and jazz, athletics and netball.
Running is now her number one sport, but she still plays netball and is captain of Kingston
University's first team. Asha is quite unique as she was crowned World Champion in yet another sport in 2006 – the double mini trampoline. This event combines tumbling and vaulting using a mini
trampoline instead of a spring board.
She had an unlucky accident in 2007 at the World Championships in Quebec when she broke her leg and snapped her cruciate ligament. It took years to recover, but she has just completed her first full season of senior athletics. "I'm just grateful I can run. If I manage to run the 100 metres in 11.29 seconds, that will qualify me for the Olympics. I also need to be in the top three in the UK. I've got the indoor championships first, which I love. We race over 60 metres, which is quick, explosive and all hangs on how fast you are out of the blocks. I believe I can do it."
Newsflash: Asha ran at the British Olympic trials this year. Unfortunately she did not make selection in the women's 4 x 100m relay.
- Name: Leonora Kennedy (on left in photograph)
- Age: 24
- Sport: Rowing
- Best result: Gold in the women's eight at the
2009 World U23 Championships
- Previous education: Biology and Sports Science BSc(Hons), Kingston University
- Currently studying: Psychology MSc
Leonora Kennedy, who is studying for a Psychology MSc at Kingston, finished seventh in the British Olympic trials for rowing, narrowly missing selection for the British Olympic Team for London 2012.
"The first six rowing pairs were selected and we finished seventh so we were so close. I felt pretty rubbish at the end of the race, but I now realise just how close we were and I think I've gained a lot of confidence just from competing in the trials. I've realised where I need to improve, definitely physiologically, as my ergo scores were not as strong as some of the girls'. "
Leonora and her rowing partner will now train for the European Championships, held in Italy, later on this year. The pairing won that selection by 17 seconds, which shows their form compared to all the other non-Olympic British pairings.
"I'd really like to thank Jo Heath and specifically Kingston's Sports Performance Programme for their fantastic support and especially their financial assistance. I have been given money when needed, they have allowed me a huge amount of flexibility with my workload and assignments and to be honest they couldn't have done anymore to support me – so thank you Kingston!"
Leonora is also supported by the Mary Peter's Trust.
Did you know?
The Sports Performance Programme at Kingston University has been introduced to assist talented sports people at the University in balancing their sporting and academic commitments. Meet some of our most promising athletes.
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