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Olawore and Clarricoats eye medals at English Schools
Thurrock’S best young athletes will be aiming for glory at the English Schools Championships this weekend.
Seven teenagers from the borough are part of the Essex team heading to Gateshead, with many of them legitimate medal contenders.
Tilbury’s Robbie Clarricoats is one of those who has set his sights on gold – but he faces a battle with his friend and William Edwards School team mate Khai Riley-Laborde.
Both 16-year-olds are going for glory in the 100m hurdles and both are ranked joint second in the country with equal personal bests of 13.19s, just one-hundreth of a second off the fastest time in the country this season.
“Yeah, we’re quite good friends,” Clarricoats said. “And we’ll be rivals at the weekend!”
Clarricoats finished fifth in the final of the intermediate boys 100m hurdles at last year’s championships as a bottom year athlete – and he fancies his chances this time round.
“I should be the favourite because I was the first of the bottom year athletes last year,” Clarricoats said.
“I’m just going to go out there and give it my best. English Schools is a great experience and I can’t wait to go again.”
Another teenager targeting gold is Aveley’s Joshua Olawore.
The 17-year-old – who last weekend was crowned the senior boys south-east regional schools decathlon champion – wants to make the top step of the podium in the senior boys’ long jump.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’ve been jumping consistently over 7m this year and I know I’ve got a big jump in me. Hopefully it will come this weekend. I’ve done English Schools a few times, but never the long jump. I have done the hurdles and the triple jump. With a bit of luck, the long jump will bring me some success.”
Multi-talented Olawore has been concentrating his efforts on the long jump this season, but after his decathlon win last weekend, he is thinking again about what path to take his athletics down.
“I was thinking about just doing long jump, but my hurdles have come on lately and if I’ve got two strong disciplines and can build around that maybe I can give the multi-eventing another push.”
Other Thurrock athletes competing over the weekend include James Pearson, Thomas Head, Gemma Holloway and Hayley McLean.