Sport has always been at the heart of Deakin, and is one of our greatest strengths.
While the rest of us are heading back to campus for wintry Week 1 classes, we’ve been keeping a keen eye on the achievements of Deakin’s elite-athlete students who are currently representing Australia at the World University Games in sunny Italy.
As the Games reaches its conclusion towards the end of this week, we’ve had exciting news continually filtering in regarding the achievements of our Elite Athlete Program students who are competing in Naples.
Ezi Magbegor wins gold
Psychology student and elite basketballer Eziyoda Magbegor has had a sensational team result at the Games – Ezi and the Emerging Opals won gold in the Women’s Basketball overnight! Ezi scored nine points against her USA opponents in the heart-stopping final, helping to take out the final match 80-72.
The path to winning gold was a fierce contest, expertly navigated by Ezi and her fellow UniRoos. The Australian team proved early on they were a force to be reckoned with, winning all three fast-paced pool games against Finland, Canada and China.
In the lead-up to the game against China, Ezi said she was preparing herself for a strong contest against the ‘fast and physical’ Chinese team. In the end, the Aussies proved victorious thanks to their strong team tactics, with Ezi personally scoring a whopping 21 points against her opponents in this crucial match.
Ezi went on to secure 15 points in the team’s quarter-final win against their Chinese Taipei opponents, and eight points against Portugal in the semi-final contest, before the Aussies toppled their American counterparts in the final.
Congratulations to Ezi and the UniRoos!
Life at the Games
In between her wins, Ezi gave us some insight into life at the Games, saying the venues have all been ‘world-class’ and reported the students have been enjoying the genial Games atmosphere – there are many locals attending the Games and generously cheering on visiting teams when Italy are not playing! The students’ accommodation also has the lively spirit of the Games in the air, with other teams being hosted at the same hotel.
Ezi and her fellow Deakin students were also taking time to recharge during their downtime, with plans this coming Saturday to catch up with other athletes and visit the Stazione Maritima docks to see the famous luxury cruise ships that comprise part of the athlete village! In between their competitions, the students have been exploring Napoli and are also hoping to visit neighbouring Pompeii before they head home.
Updates on our competing elite-athlete students
At the time of publishing, the Deakin students attending the Games were busy achieving impressive results in their respective sports.
Despite experiencing some early disappointment in her Women’s Teams table tennis matches, Madeline Goodsell is displaying her sharp talent and flair for competition. While Maddy won the deciding match against Estonia 3-1 in the group stages and qualified for Round of 16, the Aussies were subsequently defeated by Japan who will now go on to play the Gold Medal match. Maddy has her Mixed Doubles matches coming up.
Sophie Caldwell has achieved great outcomes in swimming, placing sixth in the 400m Individual Medley and 1500m Freestyle finals, and fifteenth in the 200m Individual Medley. Sophie also achieved sixth place in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay, qualifying second-fastest for the final behind the USA.
Fellow swimmer Bowen Gough has also clocked strong results at the Games, finishing eighth in the 200m Butterfly after having qualified for the final in the sixth-fastest time, and also placing fifteenth in the 100m Butterfly.
Sprinter Nana Adoma Owusu-Afriye displayed her formidable form during her 200m heat, qualifying for the semi-finals with a time of 23.97, and finishing seventeenth with a time of 23.85. She is yet to run the 4x100m Relay. We wish Nana all the very best in her final event!
Congratulations to all of our elite-athlete students for their admirable efforts in Naples! The World University Games concludes on Sunday 14 July, and we send our best wishes to our students for the remainder of the competition and look forward to welcoming them home.
Image: Deakin student Eziyoda Magbegor (centre, number 13) competes against China at the 2019 World University Games in Naples, Italy.