Sprinter Clarke on top form and desperate to qualify for London

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CHRIS Clarke insists the best is yet to come as he aims to nail down an Olympic 400m spot with Team GB at next month’s Aviva 2012 Trials in Birmingham.

The 22-year-old claimed 200m victory at the Loughborough International earlier this month before finishing seventh in a strong 400m field at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting. Neither performance, however, troubled his personal bests of 20.65 seconds and 45.59 respectively and Clarke is hoping to showcase better form at the trials.

The Marshall Milton Keynes AC starlet is confident he will hit his stride again in enough time to give himself the chance to compete at the London Olympics.

“I was a bit disappointed with my week, both before Loughborough and on the day at the International,” he said. “I ran a 400m on the Wednesday before and that didn’t go well and then the 200m on the day was not good either – I just didn’t put my race together. But it is not a worry going forward.

“The trials are a bit sooner this year than in previous years but my season doesn’t really kick off until June, so I am confident I can be in the shape I need to be in time.

“I don’t usually get into my rhythm until June so I think it will all come together.

“Last year I had a knee problem so I didn’t get running until June and my first race was a 48 second 400m. By June I was running 45s.

“Hopefully when I get my rhythm I’ll run better. I know I can do it, I’ve been running personal bests in training so I just need to put the race together.”

One man who may well be hoping Clarke peaks in time for the summer is UKA head coach Charles van Commenee.

“I am looking forward to the Aviva 2012 Trials,” said van Commenee. “It doesn’t take a genius to work out the maths and athletes will need to be at the very top of their game at the Olympic Trials if they want to make the team for London 2012.”