OXFORDSHIRE’S rising star, Lawrence Clarke, was one of Britain’s athletics surprises with his fourth place in the 110m hurdles final.

But if Clarke’s family had listened to him, they would not have been there to witness the highlight of his young career.

The 22-year-old, from Christmas Common (pictured), said: “My family were all there. They managed to get tickets in the ballot.

“They took a big gamble by buying tickets for the semi and final.

“I told them I probably wouldn’t make it. That wasn’t self-doubt, that was looking at the rankings.

“I was 20th in the world coming here and to come fourth in the world is amazing.”

Clarke, who returns to action with a race in Toulouse tonight, added: “I encouraged all my friends to buy tickets for my heat at the Olympics.

“I am so pleased that my family actually did buy tickets against my advice.

“At the Commonwealth Games, none of my family came because I thought I wouldn’t even make the final and I got a bronze there.

“They weren’t going to make that mistake second time around.”