Gymnast Kelly Simm admitted she was struggling for words after adding to her quickly growing medal collection at this year’s World University Games in South Korea.
The 20-year-old took the biggest victory of her career last year in Glasgow when she helped England to team gold at the Commonwealth Games.
But she proved she was equally adept on her own last week when she picked up a hat-trick of podium finishes at the multi-sport student competition in Gwangju.
Gold came in her very first competition – the women’s individual all-around, where she amassed an impressive score of 56.332 across the vault, uneven bars, beam and floor.
A second place in the vault after a score of 14.233 then followed before she rounded off her competition with bronze in the floor, her score of 13.966 seeing her creep onto the podium behind the Russians.
And Simm, who was watched closely by her parents in South Korea, believes she could not have asked for a better set of results.
“It’s definitely been right up there with the best things I’ve done,” said the 20-year-old. “The Commonwealth Games and getting the team gold was such an amazing achievement for me but this competition I’ve had to kind of do it all by myself.
“It’s the first time I’ve got three international medals just on my own. Getting that all around medal and getting the gold, everything had to come together.
“It’s not just the one piece, it’s all four pieces. They have to come together on the day and that’s something I’ve really struggled with in the past. So to get that here, that’s definitely one of my best achievements.
“I was really nervous waiting for all the competitors to go. Before the competition, I didn’t even know I had a shot at getting the gold. Just at the end, it was so nerve-wracking.
“I was so happy to be in the medals, I didn’t really mind what colour it was. So to get the gold and see the look on my coach’s face and see my parents in the crowd – they were getting all emotional – it was so special.”
With over 12,000 students competing from 170 nations in South Korea, the World University Games represents one of the largest and most competitive events in the world.
And with Rio 2016 ticking ever closer, Simm believes her performances have given her a real boost ahead of putting herself in the frame for selection.
“Looking towards the Olympic Games next year, this competition has helped massively,” she added.
“I know the selectors and the national coaches have been looking at the scores, they’ve been watching the routines I’ve been doing.
“The competition will prove that I can be counted on in a huge situation and can produce good scores in all four events. This competition has been massive and I’m just really proud of the way it’s gone.”
British Universities & College Sport (BUCS) is the governing body for higher education sport in the UK, representing 170 institutions and facilitating 52 sport programmes. BUCS sent a delegation of Great Britain’s next generation of elite athletes to the World University Games (Summer Universiade) being held in Gwangju Korea 4 – 14 July. For more information visit www.bucs.org.uk
© Sportsbeat 2015