FIVE MINUTES WITH: LACHLAN MOORHEAD
Student, Judoka, and now Commonwealth Games gold medallist – we spoke to UoB Business student Lachlan Moorhead about his incredible experience at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Sport Scholar Lachlan fought off some tough competition to win University of Birmingham’s first ever Commonwealth gold medal for Team England.
Q: Looking back to the summer, has the medal win sunk in yet?
A: I think my title has sunk in. It’s hard to say, it’s not like us judo fighters get time to ‘smell the roses’ – as soon as we were finished with the Commonwealth Games we were straight into qualification for the Paris Olympics. Better never stops!…
Q: Tell us about your expectations and hopes going into the Games. How had your training and warm-up competitions gone? Did you have any injuries to deal with?
A: Going into the Commonwealth Games I was hoping to win. I wasn’t the favourite, but I drew confidence from my training, and how I’ve faired against the top athletes in the Commonwealth in training. My warm-up completions were very tough events in Europe and Asia, so it’s safe to say I was ready for a challenge. Regarding did I have any injuries… I’m a judo player, so I probably had hundreds! I think I fought with so much tape on my right hand it was completely immobilised!
Q: What are your memories of the judo competition? Were you nervous? Any tense moments during the competition?
A: My memories of the competition are some of most intense but best memories I have. I was nervous throughout the whole build up, and the nerves on the day were (almost) unbearable. But this pressure was a privilege, and I knew I would perform the best under the pressure. The most stressful moment of the day was the first round, where I was 5 minutes into golden score (extra time) before emerging victorious. I was a fine margin from going home empty handed.
Q: How have you balanced your University work with your training and sporting career?
A: I have managed to balance my university studies and sporting career with great difficulty and commitment. I work long days, training throughout the morning and afternoon and studying when I am home. Perusing both endeavours has given me a resilience I can’t imagine getting from anywhere else. That being said, without the support of UoB Sport Scholarships and the well-being department in the business school, I would not have been able to achieve what I have. Their interest, understanding, and flexibility is the main reason I am able to continue my studies whilst perusing my sporting dreams. For that I am very grateful.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: What’s next for me is to work towards the Paris Olympics. I’ve beaten the fighter in the world top 10 and I’ve broken the top 25 myself. My goal is to win a medal at the Paris Olympics. I’ve trained full-time since I was 18, and I believe if I continue on this trajectory of commitment and sacrifice to the sport, then the sky is the limit.