Thu | Oct 6, 2022

Dyke breaks silence on Clayton twins going pro

Published:Saturday | August 13, 2022 | 12:08 AMRaymond Graham/Gleaner Writer
Twins Tia (left) and Tina Clayton
Twins Tia (left) and Tina Clayton
Michael Dyke, head coach Edwin Allen High School.
Michael Dyke, head coach Edwin Allen High School.
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IT IS now more than three weeks since the news broke that Edwin Allen High School’s twin sisters, Tia and Tina Clayton, have foregone their high school career with a year to go and have both signed lucrative professional contracts with shoe company...

IT IS now more than three weeks since the news broke that Edwin Allen High School’s twin sisters, Tia and Tina Clayton, have foregone their high school career with a year to go and have both signed lucrative professional contracts with shoe company Nike. They will be based at MVP Track Club under the guidance of the legendary and very successful coach, Stephen Francis.

Both athletes who will celebrate their 18th birthdays on August 17 gave themselves good early presents with excellent performances at the recent World Athletics Under 20 Championships in Cali, Colombia where Tina raced to a championship and personal best 10.95 seconds to win the women’s 100 metre final to defend her title successfully, and she was also a member of the world record 4x100 metres relay quartet which broke their own record in winning in 42.59 seconds. Tia ran the anchor leg on that team.

Since news of their professional contracts, head coach of Edwin Allen, Michael Dyke, the man who has engineered both athletes’ careers for the past six years has been silent on the matter. However, a day ago, coach Dyke agreed to speak with The Gleaner on the matter in a one-on-one interview.

Raymond Graham: Coach Dyke you have been very silent since the Clayton twins signed their professional contracts. Why?

Michael Dyke: I wanted to make sure everything was done properly and in a timely manner.

RG: Was it a difficult decision and if so why?

MD: Naturally it would have been (difficult) because I have been working with them since Class Four and I understand them a lot. I know how to motivate them.

RG: With one year of high school eligibility remaining that must have been a tough decision?

MD: Yes but I was preparing myself, the girls and the team for the transition because if you noticed they did compete sparingly throughout the season, even at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships.

RG: They are becoming professional athletes at a young age, do you think it will be difficult for them to adjust?

MD: I know it won’t be easy for them because over the years they have become accustomed to members of the coaching staff monitoring them and making sure all things were done correctly. This included getting proper nutrition, that is eating the correct stuff and at the right time too.

RG: They will be training with senior and new athletes, how do you think they will adjust?

MD: They are very disciplined with their training and work ethic so that part I am not concerned about and as I said earlier I have spent a lot of time motivating them so I expect them to adapt easily.

RG: Finally what are your expectations for them at this higher level?

MD: They will be in great hands and I am expecting great things from them in the future once they remain healthy and manage their weights properly.