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UK Athletics

plain sailing for clarke

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Lawrence Clarke

A few years ago Lawrence Clarke didn’t like competing indoors but in 2015 it’s a different story for the 60m hurdler.

Indeed, he is relishing the opportunities that an indoor season will bring him in 2015.

On Thursday evening Clarke, who finished fourth at London 2012, is travelling by ferry to compete at a competition in Mondeville, northern France.

“It’s a bit of a mad one,” reveals Clarke. “I’m taking a boat across which I don’t think many athletes do but the competition is in northern France. I’m going to be taking the overnight boat from Portsmouth on Thursday which is much easier as you get to sleep on the boat. It’s normally a 12 hour journey if you fly then you have to catch a train which involves four or five different changes and can be quite exhausting.

“This way I can take my own car to Portsmouth and take the boat over. I’ve got a day and a half before I race which is quite convenient. The world number one will be there and it’s a race I’m making a special effort to get there.”

A new personal best of 7.63 was achieved in Dusseldorf last week and this was backed up with the same time a few days later in Karlsruhe.

“I’ve started the season so much better than any other season I’ve ever had. I’ve taken a different strategy this time, starting with a minor race just before I went to Dusseldorf on Thursday and then Karlsruhe Saturday. I’ve really sank into it quite well and what’s been quite nice is that each race has had two rounds meaning I’m not going to the deep end too quickly.

“I was hoping to set a new personal best at Birmingham as I would have been coming into PB shape for then. In the past I’ve ran 7.6 high and it’s always taken me until later in the season to get a personal best but this time around I’ve done it really early on in the season which is a bit of a shock. I thought the clock was wrong and I also thought they got it wrong in Dusseldorf when they said I’d ran a PB. I’ve backed it up and done it three times in the last week which I’m really pleased about.

“The signs were there in training but you don’t necessarily believe it. My training this year has been very different to what I’ve done in the past. I’ve done a lot more speed work on the flat, I’ve done a lot more starts with other people and because I haven’t done that for a long time I don’t really know where I should be.”

Such fine performances have given the Malcolm Arnold coached hurdler a sure spring in his step.

“Dusseldorf was the first-ever senior international I’ve won in seven years so to winning that has given me a lot of confidence against people like Dayron Robles and other guys who have ran 7.4s. These people are the best of the best so to run quick is a bit of a surprise but it’s made me rather enjoy it.”