July 2021

Sports student Sadam starts bid for 400m glory at Tokyo Olympics

By Darren Campbell

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A sports student at University College Birmingham is living the Olympic dream as he prepares to take to the track in Tokyo this weekend. 

Sadam Koumi will be representing Sudan in the men's 400m competition, which starts on Sunday 1 August at the Olympic Stadium in the Japanese capital. 

The first year FdA Sports Management student will be competing in the heats, which take place from 2:45am BST, in the hope of securing a place in the semi-finals on Monday – and perhaps even the prospect of a coveted Olympic medal in next Thursday's final. 

"Sadam has shown the same dedication and determination to succeed in his studies as he has to represent his country in the Tokyo Olympics"

Carl Bennett Sports Management lecturer and year tutor

Sadam – who runs for the prestigious Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club – has enjoyed many triumphs on the track in his career, twice being crowned 400m champion at the UK CAU and England Athletics Senior Championships in 2018 and 2019. 

Photo credit: Bill Hollingshead

He also won two golds for Sudan in the 400m and the 4 x 400m relay at the African Junior Athletics Championships in 2011. 

The 27-year-old, who also works as a PE teacher at a Birmingham primary school, has previously registered a personal best time of 45.41 seconds – less than two-and-a-half seconds off the current men's 400m world record. 

Carl Bennett, Sports Management lecturer and year tutor at University College Birmingham, said: "Sadam has shown the same dedication and determination to succeed in his studies as he has to represent his country in the Tokyo Olympics – we will all be cheering him on this Sunday! 

"Everyone at University College Birmingham wishes him the best of luck and we look forward to welcoming him back to the University in October." 

University College Birmingham provides a wealth of support for young athletes and budding professionals studying on our sports courses to help them succeed in their competitive ambitions. 

This includes our Sporting Excellence Scholarship, which provides up to £3,000 of funding towards competitions, training and equipment over 3 years, as well as free gym membership and an individually tailored support programme. 

Discover our full range of college, undergraduate and postgraduate courses within our Department of Sport and Nutrition

Interested in work opportunities during next year’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games? University College Birmingham will be the home for Team Scotland during the Games, providing a wealth of exciting opportunities for our students to work with the team and its athletes – find out more here.

Photo credit: Bill Hollingshead (www.billpaparazzi.co.uk)

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