Graduate aiming for shot at Olympics

Nick Gayle winning the AAA under-23 title

A former Sports and Exercise student is competing for a place on the British Athletics team for this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing.

Nick Gayle, a champion hurdler, has been training full-time in Stafford, Manchester and Loughborough, since leaving Staffordshire University in 2006. Nick has already achieved success, winning the AAA indoor under-20 60m hurdles title twice and minor medals at the outdoor AAA under-20 championships in the 110m hurdles. He said: “My course at Staffs really helped me. It taught me training methods which I use today.”

Nick had a very successful year in 2007 winning the England AAA under-23 title in the 110m, reducing his personal best to 13.94s and ranking in the UK’s top six. This came after numerous injuries between 2004 and 2006 and a few months out suffering from the mumps virus, which hindered his breakthrough into the senior level.

Nick recently broke his lifetime best with a 7.79s run in the indoor 60m sprint hurdles, making him now less than one tenth of a second away from achieving the qualifying time for the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia. “The World Indoors was never originally part of my plans,” he said. “I believe I can achieve the qualifying time and the experience would be priceless.”