LAWRENCE Clarke will not allow himself to look beyond the Commonwealth Games as he prepares for two championships in three weeks.
The 24-year-old sprint hurdler (pictured below), from Christmas Common, near Watlington, runs for England at Glasgow 2014 and then Britain at the European Championships in Zurich.
Although he could contend for a medal at both, the Commonwealth 110m hurdles on Tuesday is his immediate focus.
“I know what the plan is in terms of training,” said Clarke. In terms of the way I am preparing, I am not thinking about the Europeans yet.
“I have to just focus on the Commonwealth Games and recalibrate after that.
“There will still be two weeks before the European Championships.
“The Commonwealth Gam-es is only two rounds, so it will be more like an international in many ways.”
Clarke added: “I hope I can get a good run in the first round. I think 13.5 might be enough to make the final and I am very capable of doing that.
“I have just got to hold it together and if I get in the final, piece the whole race together.”
Competition is likley to be stiffer at the Europeans, where Clarke may well need to break his personal best of 13.31secs to win a medal.
“In my opinion, Zurich is pretty much the home of athletics,” he said. “The hurdles world record has been set there so many times.
“There have been more 12.9s run on that track than anywhere else in the world.”
He added: “The question I always ask myself is: What time will win a medal?
“In my opinion, 13.20 will probably win it. It is not an impossible target.”
Clarke was well outside the ten fastest hurdlers prior to London 2012, but his greater consistency saw him go close to a medal.
There are likely to be many quicker than him on paper again when he lines up in Zurich, but Clarke won’t let that bother him.
“Even though someone has run 13.1, they may run 13.3 or 13.4 in the championship because the pressure has got to them,” he said.
“The beauty of the hurdles is that anything can happen. These people are beatable.”
Latest Sport news
12:48pm Monday 24th November 2014
Abingdon United host Hassocks or Ashford United (Kent) in the FA Vase 3rd round proper, if they win at Littlehampton in Wednesday's replay.
12:00pm Monday 24th November 2014
Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion from 12 noon.
11:00am Monday 24th November 2014
OXFORD United were unable to break down a well-organised AFC Wimbledon side during their goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.
10:43am Monday 24th November 2014
Explore your way around our interactive back page - eight links for your best local sports coverage, including our Oxford United match picture gallery. And there's video highlights from U's clash with AFC Wimbledon as well..
9:30am Monday 24th November 2014
ALFIE Potter admitted it was a big blow for everyone at Oxford United to see James Roberts limp off on Saturday.
9:20am Monday 24th November 2014
TOP scorer Adi Yussuf may have scored four times in his last two matches for Oxford City, but general manager Justin Merritt won’t let the striker get carried away, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
8:40am Monday 24th November 2014
MICHAEL Appleton refused to be too downbeat and instead praised the way Oxford United stuck to the game plan as they drew a blank against AFC Wimbledon.
8:00am Monday 24th November 2014
ROWLAND Phillips pointed to some encouraging signs, despite London Welsh slipping to a 12th straight defeat of the season.
8:00am Monday 24th November 2014
7:50am Monday 24th November 2014
PROLIFIC scorer John Mills hit another hat-trick to bring up a career half-century of goals for Didcot Town in their emphatic win in Division 1 South & West.