Sun 16 Feb 20
Essex student Rebecca Jeggo won gold in the 200m at the South of England Indoor Senior Athletic Championships then took 4th place in the national BUCS Athletics Indoor Championships.
The 20-year-old is a first year student is studying coaching and performance and the victory wasn’t overwhelming enough, being awarded her gold medal from hurdles legend Sally Gunnell was the ”cherry on the cake” according to Rebecca.
She said: “Winning was amazing but then having an Olympic gold medallist, someone who has achieved every athlete’s dream, give you the medal was just something else.”
Rebecca ran her South of England 200m final in an impressive 24.8 seconds, but surprisingly she said she was “gutted at first as I usually run low 24s”. Then she reflected and realised she had just run her first sub 25 second season opener and was pleased with her performance. She also still achieved victory running in the unfavourable outside lane.
She said: ‘I basically ran blind but looking back on it now it just shows I’m on the right track - no pun intended! - to run my personal best.”
After previously winning bronze three times Rebecca happily stood proud on the highest level of the podium. She credits her success to her support system made up of her local team Colchester Harriers which she has been a member of since the age of 10 and provides her with an incredible amount of support.
Rebecca admirably does not forget the mental aspects of being an athlete and credits her University of Essex psychologist for helping her confidence flourish and for believing in her talent. Rebecca also comments that hard work pays of as she trains six times a week. When asked about her competition diet she said: “I normally eat quite healthily but in between rounds I try to get as much sugar in as possible which means scoffing down jelly baby’s and Jaffa cakes!”
The next stop for Rebecca was the BUCS University Indoor championships where she posted even faster times and came away with a fourth place finish in the 200m final plus a PB and a university record.
Rebecca is now looking forward to the year ahead. She has been invited to compete at the televised British Championships in Glasgow, where she will run the 60m and 200m with the best of the best. Her aspiration is to compete further in the future but in the long term she hopes her degree will aid her into become a coach herself so she can “share her passion and help other people achieve the same”.
This story was written by Multimedia Journalism student Layla Shepherd during her work experience placement.