Northumbria Student Stars for Team GB in Oman

Posted by Oli Russell

Northumbria Student Stars for Team GB in Oman

Northumbria student and Sport Scholar, Luca Minale, was part of the squad representing Team Great Britain Students at the recent World University Cross Country Championships, hosted in Muscat, Oman. Luca achieved a terrific twelfth place in the Men’s Individual Short Course competition, contributing to an overall bronze medal along with his fellow GB teammates.

Luca and his teams’ bronze medal was one of five medals collected at the Championships, proving to be one of Team GB’s most successful performances in the competition’s 46 year history.

Alongside working to combat the 26 degree increase in temperature, Luca’s training prior to the Championships had to be adapted to accommodate to some calf problems he was experiencing. This meant event preparation consisted of sustained longer runs to build an aerobic base, as well as four sauna sessions per week to prepare for Oman’s heat.

The World University Cross Country Championships represents the second time Luca has donned the Team GB jersey, with his debut international appearance coming in the Under 23’s European Championships in Espoo, Finland. Opportunities on the global scale mean a lot to Luca, as he explains how: “Being part of Team GB is such an honour every time.”

“I am generally not a very patriotic person, my parents aren’t even British, but the pride you have when you wear that vest is something else,” says Luca. “You want to do your country proud. Both times that I’ve been in Team GB I’ve learnt so much and I have come out of the championships as a better and more motivated athlete.”

Luca, a member of Northumbria University Athletics and Gateshead Harriers, states how success in Oman is: “Reassurance that the training is working and I’m getting closer to that goal of hopefully going professional.” During his time with Team GB, Luca explains how: “I met so many athletes that have already progressed to the professional scene. It really solidified for me that I want to take the sport more seriously and see how far I can take it.”

All at Northumbria Sport would like to congratulate Luca on his contribution to this piece of history and wish him all the best with his future endeavours!

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