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Golden girl Fiona retains her crown
1:08pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in Sport
BROMSGROVE long jumper Fiona Clarke insists the electric atmosphere created at the Don Valley Stadium was just the support she needed to retain her long jump title at the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games.
The 19-year-old was looking to defend the crown she won in 2012 at the Olympic Stadium and didn’t disappoint — jumping 3.78 metres in the first round to take the gold medal.
Clarke, who left South Bromsgrove High School this summer, has been in good form this season as she set a new personal best of 3.83m indoors at the Midland Counties Open back in January.
“I’m ecstatic, the atmosphere at the School Games was just awesome and to get the gold as well is fantastic,” said Clark, who trains with Birchfield Harriers.
“The jump I did was great, it was in front of a good crowd and in Don Valley and I am just so pleased with how it has all gone.
“My first jump turned out to be the winning one and the jumps after that weren’t as good and went downhill slightly but it was still a really good performance.
“I came to the School Games as the defending champion so I hoped I could hold on to my title and I am just so happy I have done that. I did feel a little bit of pressure because everyone expected me to win and I just wanted to live up to that and I am really happy I have done that.”
The Sainsbury’s School Games, supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a major multi-sport event that saw more than 1,600 young athletes compete across 12 sports.
And with a target of competing at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, Clarke admits all the experience of competing at a multi-sport event will stand her in good stead.
“The School Games is such a great competition and it is where all the young athletes start out and then go on to big things like the Olympics so I hope to do the same,” she added.
“That is something I aiming for at 2016 and all being well I will be there. I am just going to train hard like I usually do and hopefully I will get fitter and quicker and be there.”
The Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games, which are supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, were held in venues across Sheffield. Visit 2013schoolgames.com for more information.
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