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University of Worcester students win bronze medal with England footballers
11:20am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Sport
TWO University of Worcester students have returned from Japan with bronze medals after representing England at an international competition.
The students represented their country at the World Visually Impaired Football Championships in Sendai.
They played against the host country, as well as Ukraine and Russia.
Adam Lione, who is a first-year journalism and sports student at the university, was a member of the playing squad.
He said: “The tournament was an amazing experience.
“The best part of it was the feeling of representing your country at an international championship, feeling the excitement of reading each player’s name and singing the national anthem.”
The 19-year-old from Southminster, Essex, added: “I’m very proud to be able to say I have won a bronze medal for my country.
“We had hoped and deserved to win gold, nonetheless it is still a great lesson and will only help us progress us for the next tournament.”
Russell Wheldon, who is doing his masters degree in sports coaching at Worcester, was the England squad’s performance analyst.
He said: “I have been to a number of tournaments and this one was the best so far.
“The atmosphere in Japan was fantastic – such great people and culture. It is definitely a lovely place to get a bronze medal.”
The 24-year-old, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, added: “I was pleased when I was given the medal.
“We played really well and we deserved to win it. Meeting the head of the International Blind Sports Federation and the Japanese mascots made the experience even more exciting.”
The team lost 2-1 to Russia, knocking them out of the chance to go for gold.
Training camps and a friendly tournament this autumn in Belarus or Spain are next on the students’ international schedules.
Looking further into the future, the team will take part in the European Championships in June 2014.