Sprinter Zoey Clark has admitted it feels “surreal” to be called up to Team GB for the Olympics and has been building up to the Games for the last five years.
Clark learned this week that she will be going to Tokyo this summer as one of 12 Scots selected in the Team GB track and field squad.
The 4 x 400m runner will be competing at the Games for the first time and says she’s thrilled to have her place confirmed after a nervous wait.
“It’s quite surreal, to be honest,” she told STV Sport. “It’s still sinking in.
“I only found out a couple of days ago so there’s so much excitement going on.
“It’s just so special because I’ve worked so hard for this. To make it reality is just something else.
“I knew they were having the selection meeting on Monday and I would get a phone call at some point during the day but I didn’t know when. But it was really late at night so Monday was a really long and nervous day for me.
“So I found out on Monday night and on Tuesday I had to go down to Birmingham to get my kit and there was a bit of sort of induction there. I think because everything was so hectic up until that point it really hadn’t sunk in, but when I was there it made it seem a lot more real.”
Clark, along with other athletes, has had to negotiate the difficulties of training through the pandemic, as well as dealing with the postponement of the Olympics, which were due to take place last summer.
Having persevered through the setbacks and challenges of lockdown, she says it’s important for everyone to celebrate the fact that they can meet in Japan to compete.
“It has been difficult but I know it has been difficult for everyone,” she said. “We’ve had the usual problems.
“To begin with we didn’t have facility access. I’ve not been able to train with my group all the way through and I’ve struggled with competitions and stuff.
“There have definitely been barriers but we’ve done the best we can and tried to adapt and I’m really glad I’ve managed to navigate through and still make the Olympics team.
“The last five years of my life has been building up to this moment. At one point we didn’t even know if it was going to go ahead.
“I really hope that everyone can come together and celebrate this moment because it is more special.”
Clark is now ready to go for medal success in Tokyo and admits she won’t take it lightly that she’ll be at the pinnacle of the sport.
“I’ve been in other GB teams before but the Olympics is something else,” she added. “It’s the next step up.
“It’s literally the highest point you can achieve in sport. It would be silly to say I’ve been there or done that because I haven’t and it’s exciting and it’s a new experience for me.”
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