Tomos "Luke" Treharne also won Gold at the World Student Rugby 7s championship in 2012.

Medal for Treharne at Word University Games

University of Exeter Rugby Scholar Tomos Treharne has returned from the World University Games with a bronze medal in Rugby 7s.

The second year medical student, known more readily as Luke, travelled to Kazan, Russia with the 12 strong Great Britain (GB) squad for the games which saw 11,778 athletes from 160 countries compete across 27 different sports.

The event saw Rugby 7s make its debut at the games, with Luke and the GB team confident of a strong result following their World Student Championships victory in 2012. The group stage saw the GB side overcome Malaysia (59-5), Georgia (38-0) and Belgium (10-7), before also defeating Japan (31-5) in the quarter finals.

Despite a difficult semi-final defeat against France (12-33) ending any chance of a gold medal, the team rallied round to take a convincing 31-14 victory against South Africa. Luke commented: “I am very happy with the bronze. We had a very poor game against France in the semi finals and were then determined to make up for it in the bronze medal match against South Africa. We played extremely well and beat them convincingly; it was nice to come away with a medal in the end.

“The atmosphere in the village was incredible, so many different sports and countries. I got to meet loads of new people, not just from rugby. There were a lot of things going on in the village apart from competitive the sports, like friendly games of basketball or 5-a-side. 

The crowds in the venues were unreal; the Russian public really got behind the games and turned out in force! They especially enjoyed watching their rugby team so there were big crowds at the rugby stadium each day!”

Luke was also joined by University of Exeter scholars Lucy Demaine (Women’s Rugby 7s) and Hannah Pugsley (Shooting) for the games. In the 10 Metre Air Rifle category Hannah smashed her personal best by 12 points, and finished an impressive 13th in the 50 Metre Prone. Meanwhile, Lucy’s Rugby 7s squad finished fourth; denied a medal opportunity by a strong Canadian side in the third/fourth classification match.

Lucy said: “Although we were disappointed to miss out on a medal, we can leave with our heads held high. The competition was really tough and the teams that beat us were really good with a lot of national players in their squads. We played all our games on 4G pitches which was a fairly new experience for all of us, and the heat was well in the 30s.

“Being selected for the squad and having the opportunity to play in the world university games is something I will remember forever. This was my first time on the international stage and I was simply buzzing for the entire week.

“The atmosphere was amazing. There were so many different nations there all competing and we made so many friends with the other countries too. We had the opportunity to go and watch a lot of different sports which was fantastic. Sport is a huge thing in Kazan and the locals were really getting behind us.”

All three athletes were supported by the University of Exeter’s High Performance Programme which offers dedicated support and training to elite student athletes. Assistant Director of Sport Nick Beasant said: “The performances of these athletes have been exceptional. In many countries across the globe the World University Games is ranked only second to the Olympics and the level of competition is incredibly high.  I would like to be the first to offer my personal congratulations to all three of them and look forward to seeing them on progress and achieve even more success in their chosen sports.”

Date: 31 July 2013