OXFORDSHIRE 110m hurdler Lawrence Clarke has urged veteran coach Malcolm Arnold not to retire but lead him to Olympic glory.

Arnold was the man behind Colin Jackson’s two 110m hurdles world titles and steered Dai Greene to global gold over the 400m distance in 2011.

And 22-year-old Clarke, from Christmas Common, says the legendary coach has been instrumental in his own progress from also ran to fourth place at London 2012.

“I hope he is pleased,” said Clarke. “It is the next Olympic Games that we want him to stay out of retirement for.

“He stayed out of retirement for me here and I can’t thank him enough.”

Clarke, who is a former pupil of Summer Fields School, Oxford, produced three smooth races during his campaign and said so much of that was down to Arnold.

He said: “The one thing Malcolm Arnold, my coach, has made me do is really focus on the technique.

“Over the last two years, I have had major injuries and every session I was trying to run as hard as I could and that was why I was getting injured.

“This year I have just focused on the technique. You don’t have to run a personal best every session and every race you have early season.

“Some of my competitors came out and ran ridiculous times early season.

“Sergey Shubenkov ran 13.09, but he was not in the Olympic final.

“My aim was to come to London, nothing else mattered. I outdid myself. I just can’t believe it.”

Clarke only took up the 110m hurdles in his last year at Eton College and really began his journey to the Olympics when he went to Bristol University in 2008.

“That was where I met Jason Gardner and he put me in touch with Malcolm Arnold,” said Clarke. “He took me from running 15.3 in 2008 to 13.3 and an Olympic final.

“I remember going to him when I first met him and I was calling him sir.

“I thought ‘you are the greatest coach there has ever been’. He still is. Definitely.

“He has almost been a father figure to me. “Malcolm was sitting with my family for the semis and final and he was probably thinking what a poor athlete I was when I arrived.”