Athlete Spotlight – Zoey Clark

Zoey Clark’s superb 400m British Championship win, earning selection for August’s London World Championships, is rich reward for a year that has seen her talent blossom into full flower.

Zoey has in recent years led from the front as captain of TVH’s highly successful women’s team, at the same time harvesting individual successes both at British University level and in her native Scottish Championships.

She has enjoyed great relay days too, helping Great Britain’s under-23 team to European gold in Tallinn, Estonia two years ago, as well as performing in front of a home Scottish crowd in Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Zoey, who graduated this year with a first class hours degree in chemical engineering from Aberdeen University. Following in the footsteps of Mel Edwards, Zoey is one of a group of Aberdonians – including Tracy Barlow, Myles Edwards, Chris Smith and Fiona Thompson – who have performed with great distinction for TVH. She is coached there by Eddie McKenna who is making full use of the explosive sprint speed Zoey showed as a junior.

And it is this year that Zoey has kicked into a higher gear, cracking the 52 second barrier to top the UK ranking and secure a World Championship qualifying standard at a meeting in Geneva last month.

With selection for the London showpiece now secure Zoey can relish the prospect of taking her place alongside fellow Scottish stars Laura Muir and Eilidh Doyle – as well as TVH’s Tracy Barlow and Lorraine  Ugen – on the biggest international stage.

Zoe Clark 400m British Champion 2017

Performance progression

1. How did you get into athletics? 
A teacher at school encouraged me to give athletics a shot after outsprinting everyone at school rugby.
2. Which achievements in the sport are you proudest of?  
Winning the British 400m title this year has definitely got to be one of the highlights as well as winning the 4x400m relay gold at the European U23’s in 2015.

3. What have been the biggest factors in your development?
Having supportive friends and family as well as having a really good support group from my coach and training group.
4. What’s the toughest challenge you’ve overcome? 
Last year I struggled with a recurring hamstring injury, it was the first major injury I have ever had, so overcoming the mental challenges associated with the injury was quite tough.

5. Who have been your heroes/role models? And your mentors?
 When I started out, my role models were the older and more experienced members of my training group because I could see first hand the work they were putting in.

6. What part has TVH played in your development? 
TVH has given me so much support over the years. As well as providing development opportunities through the UKWAL competitions, the friendly and positive attitude of everyone on the team makes it highly enjoyable to compete at the club competitions.  
7. What are your top athletics goals – for the near-term and the long-term? 
Having recently secured a place at the World Championships, I am hoping to run well there. Next year I also hope to compete for Scotland at the Commonwealth games. After that my main goal is to continue my development, but I would like to solidify my status in the senior GB rankings.
8. What are your interests and aims outside athletics? 
I have just graduated from University with a chemical engineering degree. Although I am taking some time out to focus on athletics, in the future I would like to pursue a chemical engineering career.

9. What’s your top training tip? 
Don’t make excuses and make every session count.
10. Describe your personality in three words! 
Focused, determined, introvert.