Speed is the key for young Brunel University sprinter Finette Agyapong after the 200m runner switched her training focus ahead of next week’s BUCS Nationals.

The 20-year-old won a silver medal at last year’s championships, in Sheffield, and is out to win gold this year, but has changed her focus to the 60m in the build up to the biggest annual multi-sport event in the country.

Agyapong, a second year law student, has targeted a faster start and greater leg speed in order to bring down her 200m time, leading to the indoor-season focus on the quick-fire 60m.

She has already matched her 60m indoor personal best, set last season, with a 7.49s clocking at Carshalton on January 8 in the South London Athletic Network Open Meeting, and can notice the effect it is having on her performances over the longer distance.

“My times for the 200m in training have come down, so it seems to be working,” she said.

“At the start of the winter I thought that if I can improve my time in the short distances it will bring down my time in the 200m as well.

“I’m just doing the 200m at BUCS so, after getting silver last year then this year I’m aiming to go one better and get the gold this season.”

Now in its fifth year, BUCS Nationals sees more than 6,000 students compete during three action-packed days of sport across different venues in the Steel City, from February 17-19.    

The event has been a springboard for many professional athletes since its inception, and Agyapong is relishing the opportunity to pull on the Brunel vest once more.

“Normally you’re racing for yourself, but BUCS is one big family and you’re racing as a team,” she added,

“It’s great, last year was my first BUCS and I didn’t really know what to expect but it was all about representing your team and your university.

“It was really different, but really good, just being together was nice. Everyone worked together and had the same goal and it was great to be a part of.”

Looking past the championships Agyapong has one eye already focussed on her next big goal – improving her PB time enough to make the Commonwealth Games next spring.

“My next outdoor goal is to make the GB team for the U23 European Championships this summer, for the 200m, and time-wise hopefully to run sub 23 seconds,” she concluded.

“I think I’m capable of doing it. My personal best is 23.55 but I definitely think it’s possible to knock off half a second and get the Commies qualifying time.

“I’m not looking too far ahead to the Commonwealth Games at the moment, but it’s definitely an aim and it’s good to keep it in mind because it’s not that far away.

“It’s the start of my campaign now.”

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. BUCS Nationals is the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event, bringing over 6,000 athletes to Sheffield to compete in 9 sports