Clarke humbled by Calabar alumni showing in Rio

August 29, 2016
Patrick Planter/ Photographer Coach Michael Clarke being interviewed at the Norman Manley International Airport, on his arrival home from the Rio Olympics.

Calabar High school coaching hero Michael Clarke describes it as a proud moment and humbling, yet honourable experience to work with a number of his former athletes who represented Jamaica at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Clarke was a member of Jamaica’s coaching team to the Games.

Several of his former Calabar charges and current Akan Track Club members Peter Matthews and Javon Francis were on the team in Rio.

Honourable moment

“It certainly is a proud moment for the school, for the persons who are integral to the track team at the school, and it extends to me, proud moment, humbling, and honourable moment,” Clarke said.

The veteran coach says Jamaica’s 11 medal haul was a big feat, and spoke well of the team which represented young and outgoing athletes.

“Naturally, the aim is for upward exposure and opportunities so that they can realise their own ambitions and contribute to all the traditions and glory of the country,” he said.

“Some of them have made the transition quite easily, others are still having it a bit difficult, with challenges, and trying to make the adjustments but they are being patient so far,” he added.

With the International Association of Athletics Federations set to  scrap the World Youth Championships after next year, Clarke feels upcoming Jamaican athletes can thrive at different competitions.

“It won’t provide the kind of exposure that they would normally have at that under 18 level, but there are other meets here, there are other regional meets, World Juniors is still there and our local competition is reasonably intense enough to model the intensity of that cohort and the benefits to be accrue from it,” he said.

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