CITY sprinter Chris Clarke faces a date with Olympic destiny this weekend as he runs in the Aviva Trials in Birmingham.
The 22-year-old was last week selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Finland at the end of the month, but before then he gets the chance to book a place at London 2012.
Running in both the 200m and 400m events, Clarke will need to finish in the top two to stand a chance of selection, while recording Olympic qualifying times.
He is currently ranked sixth in the UK over 200m with a season’s best time of 20.65s – agonisingly close to the A Standard of 20.55s – and is ninth fastest over 400m, clocking a 46.02s. The A standard – which four British runners have so far bettered this year – is 45.30s.
Greg Rutherford, the world’s leading long-jumper in 2012, will also compete at the Trials, despite the fact that his Olympic place is already secure. However, javelin thrower Mervyn Luckwell – who has also bettered his respective A Standard for London – will miss out on the competition in Birmingham with a knee injury.
Rutherford recently pulled out of the Diamond League meeting in New York with a virus but will be the favourite to win gold at the Alexander Stadium on Saturday.
Both Rutherford and Luckwell have been left out of the European Championships team that will travel to Helsinki, allowing them to concentrate on their preparations for the Olympics.