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Best of British Clark is relishing trip to Worlds

PUBLISHED: 13:49 06 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:49 06 July 2017

Zoey Clark celebrates winning the women's 400 metres final at the British Athletics Team Trials at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham (pic Martin Rickett/PA)

Zoey Clark celebrates winning the women's 400 metres final at the British Athletics Team Trials at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham (pic Martin Rickett/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Thames Valley Harriers Zoey Clark was crowned British women's 400 metre champion at Birmingham to bag a dream World Championship spot at London Stadium next month, writes Ziad Chaudry.

Lorraine Ugen celebrates winning the women's long jump final at the British Athletics Team Trials at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham (pic Martin Rickett/PA)Lorraine Ugen celebrates winning the women's long jump final at the British Athletics Team Trials at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham (pic Martin Rickett/PA)

The 22-year-old, Aberdeen-born one-lap specialist outshone Bristol’s 2016 Rio Olympic relay bronze medalist Emily Diamond by four hundredths of a second to win in 52.30, while Liverpool’s Anyika Onuora grabbed third in 52.82.

Many pundits at Alexander Stadium regarded Clark’s victory as a surprise, however she is the current British number one in the division which more than justified her win.

“I won’t say it’s a surprise as I knew it was in me,” said a delighted Clark.

“In previous years I might not have even got to the final of this event, so it’s a quite a big jump, but I’m so chuffed with it.

“It’s competitive in Britain over 400m and it’s very close at the top of the rankings this year and anything could’ve happened out there.”

Clark topped the UK rankings following a time of 51.84 in Switzerland last month and she is happy with the way her season is turning out as she now looks forward to competing at next month’s finals in Stratford.

“This season has been the season of my dreams so far,” she added.

“The past couple of weeks I’ve had a bit of a niggle which wasn’t the best preparation, but my racing has just been on the up since the turn of the year. I don’t really know what has changed, but something is paying off for me.”

Also joining Clark in Team GB colours for the White City-based club will be Lorraine Ugen who claimed the women’s long jump title.

Despite retiring after three rounds the 25-year-old did enough to win with her 6.59m effort – well below her outdoor season’s best of 6.78 at the Eugene IAAF Diamond League back in May as her main rival Jazmin Sawyers was eliminated after fouling her first three rounds.

“I’ve had a busy week so I skipped a couple of jumps but I’m happy with the win,” she Ugen.

“I came out to secure that spot and now the thought of a home world championships is so exciting.”

Ugen competes at the Müller Anniversary Games at London Stadium on Sunday, with tickets still available at ticketmaster.co.uk. The BBC is also televising the action from 12.15pm.

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