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Robert Clack students make history with brilliant bronze

PUBLISHED: 10:00 13 July 2018

Robert Clack's junior boys at Gateshead

Robert Clack's junior boys at Gateshead

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Robert Clack’s junior boys made a little bit of history as they won a superb bronze medal at the English Schools’ finals at Gateshead International Arena on Saturday, writes Lee Power.

The Dagenham school was making only it second appearance at the finals and travelled to the north east ranked fifth of the 12 finalists, after more than 600 schools entered the competition.

And they produced a string of excellent performances to make it onto the podium, behind Dartford Grammar and Southend High, and director of sport Pete Goyette said: “The students and staff were immensely proud when the results were called out at the end of the day.

“Third place nationally represents hours and hours of hard work from staff and students alike. The boys were a credit to the school, the Dagenham community but most importantly themselves and their families. Their behaviour was spot-on and their desire and commitment unquestionable.

“I cannot think of a time when I have been more proud to be associated with the students from Robert clack and that is a huge statement because they are such good kids.”

Wearing new tracksuits and vests funded by the school’s PTA and well prepared by teacher Lee Wilkins, they were highly motivated and clear on individual targets, producing a host of personal bests and some school records for good measure.

Sid Khelifati (12.0 seconds) and Joseph Atoki (13.1) began well in the hurdles, with Murphy Madubuko (24.3) clocking the second-fastest 200m time in event history, as Malakai Aldridge (12.1) and Kyle Irving (12.0) won their 100m races.

Praise Ogbabor (4.44.9) equalled Ashley Reece’s 18-year-old school record for the 1500m, before Dave Pike (2.19.4) won the 800m and beat a 10-year-old school record to leave Clack in first place at the midway mark.

And Romeo Osei-Nyarko produced the best result of the field events with 13.12m in the shot for victory and another school record as Clack held on valiantly for a medal.

Squad: Kyle Irving, Malakai Aldridge, Murphy Madubuko, Ashley Onyegbula, Ibrahim Hassan, Natanas Benis, Rueben Forbes, Dave Pike, Praise Ogbebor, Baran Oden, Sid Khelifati, Joseph Atoki, Jordan Chambers, Romeo Osei-Nyarko, Marcus Darko, Abdul Sessay.

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