Oaklands College pride at alumni success at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Great Britain's Daryll Neita after the 100 metres final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Great Britain's Daryll Neita after the 100m final at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. - Credit: MIKE EGERTON/PA

The whole world may be forced to watch the Olympics on TV but in a small corner of Hertfordshire there have been some excited and proud eyes.

Oaklands College in St Albans have had a number of their former students shine in Tokyo, showing the strength of the sports programme at the establishment.

Daryll Neita became the first British female since 2008 to make an Olympic 100m final.

She studied at the St Albans campus between 2013 and 2014 and produced a super personal best in the semi-final, her first 11-seconds run.

Speaking to the BBC after her final performance, Neita said: "It wasn't the race I wanted, but it's still an amazing achievement. I feel like I belong in a final, so going forward the mentality has really grown."

She was one of four former Oaklands Wolves Athletics Academy members competing at the Tokyo games.

Sprinters Reece Prescod and Ama Pipi joined Daryll Neita in Tokyo, with former athletics academy graduate turned-rugby sevens star Celia Quansah also selected as part of Team GB.

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Prescod false-started in the 100m semis, thwarting his chances of joining teammate Zharnel Hughes in the final, while Ama Pipi also reached the last round of the 400m before the final, coming seventh in the first of the semi-finals.

She will also run in the 4x400m relay on Thursday 5th.

Quansah and her rugby team-mates were pipped to the bronze medal by Fiji but getting to the Games was a win in its own right after last minute funding.

Head of academies, Ryan Freckleton, who was the head of athletics throughout the Olympians time at Oaklands, said: “Being able to provide a platform which helps to assist the ongoing development of our student athletes has always been our primary focus.

"So, seeing our graduates continue their development so deep into their careers leaves a pleasant feeling.

"I hope to see them continue to achieve at the highest level possible.”

In addition, Oaklands will also follow the journey of Paralympic duo Olivia Breen and Maria Lyle, who are also products of the athletics academy provision at the college.

Breen will compete in both the T38 long jump and 100m with European champion Lyle going in the T35 100m and 200m races.

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