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Young scientist 'in the swim'

Published: 29th July 2009

FORENSIC science undergraduate Katy Whitfield has praised MMU staff for helping her reach the top of the world!

20-year-old Katy competed in the World Swimming Championships in Rome last week, where Britain won a gold medal in the women’s 100m backstroke.

The Stockport swimmer qualified for both the 5km and the 10 km open water races and finished 35th in the latter race, which was won by British number one Keri-Anne Payne.

And she says without the flexibility of her tutors in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, where she studies Biology with Forensics, she would not be representing her country.

Flexible learning

"I chose MMU because the lecturers are understanding and flexible with me with my
training. For me, training comes first so if I ever have any clashes with lectures, I train and catch up on the notes and lessons later. It's great!"

Katy broke onto the swimming scene in 2005 when
she qualified for the European Junior Championships where she finished 7th in the 800m. Then in 2008 she made the senior team to swim in the European Short Course Championships in Croatia.

Despite fighting a string of injuries and health problems – she is asthmatic! – Katy is a strong bet for the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and the Olympics in London in 2012.

"I would love to get a medal in the Olympics but I have to concentrate on getting there first.

"I have no idea what I want to do when I finish my degree. I would like to go into forensics, perhaps with the police, but I am going to see where my swimming takes me before I think about getting a job.

"I want to take my swimming as far as I can first and feel I have no regrets but it is great to have a good education and I'll have that for life!"