Home » Loughborough International delivers on a day of high sporting drama

Loughborough International delivers on a day of high sporting drama

Image provided by Peter Simmons.

Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson underpinned her Paris medal hopes by recording a season’s best in the high jump at the 2024 Loughborough International Athletics (LIA).

On a glorious spring day, in front of a capacity crowd at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium, the current World Champion cleared 1.86m to take gold ahead of Thea Brown in silver (1.83m) and Halle Ferguson in bronze (1.75m). 

Johnson-Thompson’s jump will undoubtedly give the 31-year-old a welcome boost ahead of the world’s biggest sporting stage in France’s capital later this summer.

Billed as the ‘Battle of the Nations’, Loughborough athletes took on competitors representing England, Wales, Scotland, GB&NI Under-20s and the National Athletics League for the annual competition.

Loughborough sports scholar and Tokyo Paralympic champion Ntando Mahlangu wowed spectators by storming to victory in the men’s para 400m with a personal best of 52.42 seconds. The South Africa international beat John Bridge (Wales – 53.64) and Cameron Thores (Scotland – 53.81) to take the title for the home side. 

Ntando Mahlangu running on his bladesImage caption: Ntando Mahlangu impressed. Image provided by Still Sport Photography.

Current British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) outdoor champion Poppy Malik also won an impressive gold for Loughborough in the women’s 400m, crossing the line in 53:41 ahead of England’s Hannah Kelly (54.05), and Wales’ Tess McHugh (54.26). 

GB&NI Under-20s successfully navigated slight headwinds to take a clean sweep in the 4x100m relays, winning both the men’s (39.76) and the women’s (44.59) disciplines at a canter. 

17-year-old Mabel Akande turned heads in the women’s 100m to win in a personal best 11.52, ahead of Scotland’s Alyson Bell (11.62), and Rachel Bennett (invitational), also in 11.62. 

England’s Sophie Hahn found the kind of form that won her gold at both the 2016 and 2020 Paralympics as she cruised to victory in the women’s para 100m in a season’s best 12.90, ahead of GB’s Maddie Down (13.20), and Lana Sutton (invitational – 13.38). 

runners passing a batonImage caption: GB sprinters in action. Image provided by Peter Simmons.

Elsewhere, shot putter and European under-23 medallist Serena Vincent (England) produced a terrific performance, adding 56cm to her personal best with a throw of 17.78m. Wales’ Adelé Nicoll also recorded a throw to be proud of by hitting a season’s best 17.28m. 

There was a welcome return for fit-again Taylor Campbell who competed for the first time in almost three years to throw an encouraging 69.75m in the men’s hammer.   

Loughborough’s Bekah Walton, coached by Dave Turner, showed consistency once again to win the women’s javelin in another strong distance of 59.26m. 

Adelé Nicoll throwing a shot putImage caption: Adelé Nicoll in action for Wales. Image provided by Still Sport Photography.

To cap an exhilarating day of first-class athletics, England included Johnson-Thompson in the 4x400m women’s final to ultimately edge out Loughborough and win in 3:34.65. 

In the men’s event, there was also a win for England in 3:09.21, ahead of GB in 3:11.14, with an invitational team taking third in 3:11.89. 

a posed shot of Loughborough's 4x400m womens relay teamImage caption: Loughborough’s 4x400m women’s relay team. Image provided by Peter Simmons.

Final overall team scores:

England: 191 points

Loughborough: 159 points

GB: 152.5 points

National Athletics League: 136 points

Wales: 104.5 points      

Scotland: 99 points

For the full list of results from Loughborough International 2024, visit rosterathletics.com and search for the event. For more information on athletics at Loughborough, visit: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/sport/sports/athletics/

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 24/61

About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines. 

 

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme and named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2024 QS World University Rankings – the eighth year running. 

 

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2025, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 10th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024. 

 

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen’s Anniversary Prizes. 

 

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.