Clark gets back on track with Olympic preparation

The Team GB sprinter is back in training at Aberdeen's ASV.

Zoey Clark is delighted to be back on the track and is aiming to make up for the disappointment of missing out an Olympic debut this summer.

The Team GB sprinter was hoping to be at the Tokyo Games in July but the coronavirus pandemic ended sport in the UK and around the globe.

The Olympics were postponed and Clark was among the many athletes forced to find training solutions during a lengthy lockdown.

Now, as restrictions ease, the Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV) has opened up the track for performance athletes and the facility has allowed Clark to step up her training and work towards her goals again.

“I’m so excited,” she told STV. “I’ve been running obviously through lockdown and stuff but actually being on a track it’s made me so happy and I’ve got such a big smile on my face being able to train here.

“It’s been a big adjustment. I know everyone, including myself have tried to be creative with different training solutions.

“I’m quite lucky to be a runner so I don’t need special equipment to train. If I can find a grassy field, I can run in it, So I’ve been doing a lot of running on grass but with the five-mile restrictions I’ve been limited with my area so there’s been lots of tight corners and stuff.

“I’ve been keeping going, I’ve set up a home gym in my garage so I’ve been doing the best I can.”

The 400m runner, who already holds silver medals from the relay at the 2017 World Championships and last year’s European Indoor, said there may be a silver lining in the Olypics being put back a year, though there was still uncertainty about how the road back to competition would look.

However, Clark said her continued focus was on preparing for next year and being ready to compete at the very highest level when athletics return in earnest.

“I mean obviously I would have liked to have been an Olympian this year but you know things might happen for a reason,” she said. “I had a little bit of a niggle earlier on this year so you know I’ve had time to address that properly, get fully fit.

“I’m going to train really hard and have the hunger to compete at the Olympics next year.

“I think it has been quite bad in the UK. I know a lot of my friends from other countries have been back on the track for quite a long time actually.

“Their lockdown has been eased earlier because they haven’t had the lockdown as bad. So yeah, I do think it has been harder here. I was quite jealous of my English competitors because they got on the track before me but it’s one of those things, everyone’s doing what they can.

“Obviously, I don’t know if there’s going to be any competitions this year. I think some are still scheduled but whether or not they happen is anybody’s guess.

“So for me, it’s all about preparing for next year. I’m going to build up my training, build up the intensities, almost like a mock season so I’m ready to reset and address next year properly.”

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