Top athlete Lawrence secures his place at London 2012
Press release issued: 2 July 2012
Another University of Bristol graduate is celebrating after securing a place in Team GB for the upcoming Olympic Games. Lawrence Clarke clocked a time of 13.45 seconds in the 110m hurdles Olympic Trials, coming a close second to training partner and UK champion Andy Pozzi.
He’s one of six Bristol University students, past and present, to win a place at the world’s biggest showpiece of sport.
The 22-year-old graduated last year with a 2.1 in Theology and Religious Studies and has since focused his attentions on qualifying for London 2012.
Although he had beaten the UK Olympic qualifying mark of 13.52 seconds nine times this season, only the top two finishers at the Olympic trials were guaranteed a place in Team GB.
Lawrence, who now trains in Bath where he’s coached by Colin Jackson's old mentor Malcolm Arnold, said: “Four years ago I was 63rd in the country, so I've come a long way. I was born and brought up in London so it's a dream come true to be going to the Olympics.
"Colin Jackson sent me a text the night before the final as well saying 'good luck and see you on the track' so I was worried he might be making a comeback! He'd still probably be able to beat all of us.
"But I'm so pleased that Pozz and I are both going. We will be two of the youngest members of the team and it will be good to see what we can achieve because the 2016 Olympics is the one we'll probably be featuring more prominently in."
In addition to being part of the High Performance Squad at Bristol University, Lawrence was also a Lloyd Robinson Scholar, receiving external funding and support to help him pursue his athletics career.
Also in Team GB is Georgie Twigg, who has just completed her Law degree. The 21-year-old was named in the women’s hockey squad in May, just weeks before sitting her finals.
Claire Hallissey, 29, who completed a PhD in Immunology between 2006 and 2010, will be competing in the marathon at London 2012 after running a personal best time of 2hr 27min 44sec in the London Marathon, making her the first British woman to cross the finish line and secure her place on Team GB.
Gold medallist sailor Iain Percy, 36, an Economics student between 1995 and 1998, will defend his title in the Men’s Star Class at London 2012.
Dressage rider Laura Bechtolsheimer, 27, is currently ranked third in the world. She graduated from Bristol University in 2007 with a BSc in Philosophy and Politics.
And Hannah Mills, 24, who is currently studying Engineering but has deferred her final year to focus on her sailing ambitions, will compete in the girls 470 pairs event with partner Saskia Clark.
All of these sporting alumni have been members of the High Performance Squad of athletes at Bristol University, which helps talented student athletes continue with their sporting careers without compromising their academic progress.