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An Uxbridge College student has performed faster than England football player Aaron Lennon.

Jermeel Jno-Baptiste (18), who is studying a BTEC National Certificate in Sport, hit number one on the Nike Mercurial Speed Test leader board with 13.51sec against Lennon's 13.90 in speed tests.

Jermeel could now be in line to take part in a one-off elite speed training session at Old Trafford in May following his success.

The speed test is part of the sportswear company's campaign to promote its new football boots. Midfielder Lennon, who was part of England's 2006 World Cup squad and plays for Tottenham Hotspur, has set the pace and players from around the UK are being invited to pit their skills against his. The fastest will go to Old Trafford in May.

Nike representatives have been touring training grounds nationally, asking players to take part in the trials wearing the new Mercurial Vapor IV boot.

They turned up at the Uxbridge Campus on Wednesday 27 February and took players through their paces at nearby Hillingdon Athletics Stadium.

Aaron Nelson, who is studying a BTEC National Diploma in Sport at the College, is second on the board with 13.96secs and Etienne Thompson (19), who is on the same course as Jermeel, is joint third with 14.11sec.

Jermeel said: "I just did my best, I am pleased I have beat Lennon. I would love to be a professional footballer but I am going to keep on studying."

Gavin Hughes, Head of Sport, Leisure and Public Services at Uxbridge College, said: "It was a great opportunity to bring out our students' competitive spirit anyway, but everyone was bowled over Jermeel beat Lennon's time. As well as being a hard-working, conscientious student, Jermeel is part of the College's Football Academy, where students get specialist coaching, and the team is doing pretty well at the moment and has hardly lost a match. Their coach Kerthney Carty is also a talent spotter for Crystal Palace.

"I'm sure many of our students would love to play football professionally - and speed is the number one skill for premier clubs - but having a qualification is invaluable. You can get into university with a BTEC National Diploma and it gives you a way in to a whole host of jobs in the sport and fitness industry."


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