Graduation Ceremonies

Olympian Lawrence Clarke clears Masters hurdle to graduate

Olympic hurdler Lawrence Clarke, who finished fourth in the London 2012 Olympic Games 110m Hurdles Final, will graduate with an Msc in Management at Bath Assembly Rooms on Tuesday 8 December.

Lawrence, who has based his athletics training at the University for the past seven years, was a key part of the British Athletics training squad under the experienced eye of coach Malcolm Arnold MBE – also based at the University.

Lawrence captained the Great Britain Athletics Team at the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships, and is now training in Paris with members of the French and Italian Olympic Team, one of the strongest hurdling training teams in the world.

Combining study with competition at the highest level

At University Lawrence combined his management studies with six days of intensive training a week, on the track and in the weights room.

Lawrence Clarke Photo courtesy of British Athletics

Lawrence Clarke competing at the British Indoor Championships February 2015 Photo courtesy of British Athletics

Speaking about the challenge he said: “I was competing from January to March in the indoor athletics season which meant I was abroad most weekends. The same was true for the summer, but there was the added focus in 2014 of the European and Commonwealth Championships, where I made both finals, and the World Championships in 2015 in Beijing.

“Going away during April for warm weather training was a big challenge for me, fitting in revision and subsequently writing my dissertation. The combination of competition at the elite level and trying to tie down the masters was tough but it kept me motivated.

“If the University had not been so supportive there is no way I would have been able to find a way to complete the degree.”

Dr Baris Yalabik, Director of Studies for the Msc in Management, said: “Lawrence has shown great perseverance in managing both academic and athletic endeavours with such success. He has represented both Bath and his country so well while keeping up with the demands of a challenging MSc programme. We are proud to have supported him through this journey, and wish him the best for the future.”

During his time at Bath Lawrence also found time to represent the University in the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships, winning hurdles gold in 2014.

Looking to Rio 2016

Lawrence has now qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and is focused on winning the British Championships in June 2016 to secure selection.

He said: “Hopefully I will be in peak performance at this Games as I will be 26 and am working harder than ever. The set up in France is gruelling and we don't have the comfort of an indoor track like I did in Bath so the winter takes its toll! I will be here until the Olympics and if all goes well I shall stay on - hopefully having mastered the language was well as the sport!”

Stephen Baddeley, Director of Sport at the University, said: “It has been a pleasure to watch Lawrence’s development and we all hope he can repeat, if not exceed, his excellent London 2012 performances at the Rio Olympics next summer.”

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