‘I’m up for the challenge’ - Clarke wants to lower world under-20 400m hurdles record
When Roshawn Clarke crossed the finish line at 47.85 seconds to take the national 400 metres hurdles title and equal the world under-20 record, it was a surprise to many but it is all a part of the plan for the 19-year-old.
He is now aiming to lower that under-20 mark record.
"The under-20 record is one of the goals I had as this year is my final junior season. The plan is to break the record I don't know how fast I will go if I do break it but it's a part of the plan," Clarke said.
The former Camperdown High School star, the eighth-fastest man over the distance in the world in 2023, hopes to also break the national senior record of 47.60 seconds set by Winthrop Graham in 1993.
"The national record has been there for a very long time (so) to break that record it would take something really special. I'm up for the challenge but I have many years ahead to work on it but I'll definitely be going for it," said Clarke.
Come August 19, the youngster will be competing at his first World Athletics Championships and he said he will not back down from the challenges to come.
"My first World Championships, wow! I'm looking forward to some great performances and heading to the final. Who knows? Even challenge for a medal," said the Swept Track Club-based athlete.
Even though he has had great results so far, Clarke said this season has not been the easiest.
"I had an hamstring injury last year after the Penn Relays and I had problems with this injury all the way over into this season up to February, so it's near a year. It set me back a bit because I couldn't do much and as an athlete if you can't do what you love it is really upsetting; but we worked hard and we're over it and I am strong and healthy again, no problems now," Clarke said.
Despite all this, he kept his focus on the task ahead.
"It's not really difficult for me to stay focused. It all comes down to you as a person to know how to deal with noise," he said."My biggest motivation is to be successful and see my mommy happy. My motivator is my mom," he said.
Clarke already has a number of accolades to his name including world under-20 bronze medallist and the Austin Sealy Award for the most outstanding athlete at the 50th Carifta Games in April this year.
He now has his sights set on claiming world titles in the near future.