Trusting ‘madness’, the Roshawn Clarke formula
THROUGHOUT HIS journey, spanning many 400-metre hurdles competitive races, national champion Roshawn Clarke has trusted the wisdom of coach Okeile Stewart.
Now, as he settles into making his World Athletics Championships debut, the 19-year-old Clarke, who is having a memorable rookie senior season, is anxious to see how he fares against the best the world has to offer.
Clarke could not have imagined a more ideal debut, becoming the Carifta Games champion, pouching the Austin Sealy award for the most outstanding athlete, and becoming the second-fastest Jamaican in history on the way to claiming his first national title and equalling the world under-20 record in a race where he bested his former training partner, Jaheel Hyde.
And if it wasn’t evident before, the key to his success has been to trust in the plan that Stewart has for him, or as Stewart refers to it, his ‘madness’.
“He said to me, ‘believe in my work, I will take you places you never went before. So just believe in my madness,’ as he always says,” Clarke told The Sunday Gleaner.
According to Clarke, the work Stewart did with Hyde was more than enough to show that the coach had the formula to get the best of out of 400-metre hurdlers.
“You see what he did with Jaheel? He is a hurdles guru. I believe in him that he is definitely a hurdles guru,” said Clarke.
The proof has been what Clarke has done this season, smashing the sub-48 target that both he and Stewart have been working to achieve this year.
The reality of being in his first senior championships has started to sink in as he went through a training session this week. Tied sixth in the world this year, Clarke will have the opportunity to test himself at the ultimate level with the likes of reigning world champion Alison Dos Santos, and former world champion and current world record holder, Karsten Warholm, in the field.
Just as important for Clarke is that he enjoys the moment.
“Running against the best doesn’t get me nervous. I am just anxious to run at my first World Championships. That is all on my mind right now,” Clarke said.
Clark opens his campaign this morning at 4:35.