Sports

Sprinter Clarke to test readiness against Grand Prix's big guns

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 11, 2017

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Inter-collegiate 100m champion Everton Clarke of G C Foster College is hoping to go one better than last year after establishing his personal best of 10.08 seconds, but just failing to make the final of the National Championship and, by extension, the Olympic team.This year, Clarke will be using the JN Racers Grand Prix as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and he is hoping to put on a good show alongside the great Usain Bolt.

“Usain Bolt has set a very high standard for track and field in Jamaica and worldwide, so it will be a pleasure for me competing amongst the greatest in the sport at his outgoing performance. It should be good,” Clarke told the Jamaica Observer.

The 24-year-old G C Foster College student won the inter-collegiate 100m crown in 10.12 seconds and was selected to his first senior Jamaican team for the World Relays in the Bahamas recently.

“It was a great experience running with the best in the world and competing for my country. That's probably the best thing that one could hope for. It was a great experience, despite the little mishap that happened. Mistakes do happen, but overall the experience was great,” he noted.

The “mishap” Clarke was referring to was the poor baton exchange between Kemar Bailey-Cole and Jevaughn Minzie on the second and third legs. Clarke was the lead off man on that team, with the stranded and disappointed Yohan Blake on anchor.

Clarke, formerly of Herbert Morrison High, has brought down his times from 10.30 seconds in 2014 to 10.08 in 2016, and he believes his hard work is reaping dividends.

“Every athlete, I think, whenever he or she runs, should want to do better than their last, and I am planning to run a PR (personal record) this season, So that is something to look forward to,” Clarke pointed out.

He said his preparation is on course and he is eyeing a spot on the London World Championships team.

“Preparation has been going great so far (as) I have been working on a few things in training, and it has been showing in my performances.

“I am looking forward to making the World Championships team (and) it's just to go out there and do well,” he said.

With the JN Racers Grand Prix set for Saturday June 10, Clarke will have an idea where he is at after mixing it up with the big guns as he heads into the qualifying National Championship for London.

“It's going be very challenging but I am up to the challenge, because last season 10.08 did not put me into the final... I expect it to be challenging, but I am up for the challenge,” he noted.

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