Track club ‘swept’ away by Clarke’s nomination for Rising Star Award
The entire Swept Track Club has been given a lift after Jamaica’s World Under-20 world record holder Roshawn Clarke was named as one of the three finalists for the World Athletics Rising Star Award for the 2023 season, it was said.
The 19-year-old is coming off an outstanding season where he broke the World Under-20 record in the men’s 400m after running 47.35 seconds in the semi-finals at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in August.
The award, which was won by Usain Bolt in 2002 after he won the World Under-20 200m title in Kingston, is given to the top Under-20 athlete in the season.
American Erriyon Knighton, who was second in the men’s 200m at the World Championships, and Kenyan Emmanuel Wanyonyi, silver medallist in the men’s 800m, are the other two finalists.
The winner of the 2023 Men’s Rising Star Award will be selected by an international panel of experts and will be announced on World Athletics’ platforms on December 11.
Okeile Stewart, head coach of Swept TC, told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday, the news was greeted with celebration in the camp and had filled him with tremendous pride.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to see someone from the club doing great things and been recognised for it,” Stewart said, “It goes to show the good job we are doing here and the world is seeing it as well.”
Clarke, who was fourth in the men’s 400m final at the World Athletics Championships in Hungary in August, rewrote the Jamaican Under-20 and senior national records this past season with a series of outstanding performances.
“You could see the joy in the camp,” said. “Every one was quite happy, the mood was upbeat, especially among the hurdlers.”
Stewart noted that Clarke’s training habits had improved since the start of the preparation for next season which will see the Olympic Games in Paris.
The silver medallist in the World Under-20 Championships last year and Austin Sealy Award winner at this year’s Carifta Games where he retained his Under-20 boys’ title, Clarke swept all before him on his way to the World Championships.
Clarke had previously equalled the World Under-20 record 47.85 seconds when he won the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Championships on July 1, and broke the Jamaican Under-20 record 48.81 seconds set by Jaheel Hyde in 2016.
His 47.34 seconds also broke the Jamaican national record 47.60 seconds set by Winthrop Graham in 1993, 11 years before Clarke was born and that time would have won at most previous World Championships.