YOU HAVE to make sacrifices to reach the pinnacle of sport and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke has justified hers to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Oskan-Clarke, 26, admits its a dream come true to qualify for Rio, an achievement that reduced her mother to tears and brought everyone together.

“It was just a relief to qualify because I knew that I was capable of doing it,” the WSEH Athletics Club star told the Observer.

“I knew that I was in great shape but going out there on the day of the Olympic Trials and producing what you know you can do is always a scary feeling.

“I was confident and I came out on top. It was just a relief getting that over and done with and going on to the next chapter of my training to fulfil my goals.

“My family were just so pleased and so happy for me. They know how hard I’ve worked all these years, building on performances and fitness year upon year, and the sacrifices that I have made.

“I spoke to my mum on the phone and she said she was just crying at the tv, and some of my family were there as well. They said they were really tense at the start of the race but were so thrilled for me.

“I think everyone is just so pleased and I got the feeling it brought everyone together. It was a great day.”

Oskan-Clarke added: “From being a part of the club [WSEH] as a young girl to getting to the Olympics is just such a dream. It’s like the pinnacle of your sport and I think everyone is just so proud.

Royal Borough Observer:

PHOTO: Shelayna Oskan-Clarke, a member of WSEH Athletics Club and former Bayliss Court School pupil, will represent Team GB in the 800m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“I’ve received lots of support messages with people telling me how proud they are and excited for me.

“It has brought everything together because it’s not just me who has worked really hard. People have made sacrifices for me over the years, getting me to training and picking me up when I was a young child. It’s nice because you feel like all of that is worth it.”

The 800m runner continued: “I took a couple of days to process it. It’s a great achievement and I’m really happy about it, but I’ve still got quite a lot to fulfil during the season. Now I’m just focused on getting to the Olympics and being at my best when I’m there.

“I know that I will be going as long as I stay injury-free and do all the right things. I’m now focused on preparing myself to go out there and compete to my very best.”

Oskan-Clarke’s qualification for Team GB at the Olympic Games follows a breakthrough year in 2015 where she finished fifth at the World Championships in Beijing with a new personal best.

“It’s such a great feeling,” she said. “You set yourself a few goals that you want to achieve at the start of the year and actually fulfilling those is just such a great feeling. I’m just thrilled to have done that.

“I’ve still got more to fulfil but, day by day or week by week, I’m getting past and achieving what I set out to do. I just feel content and happy daily because I’m doing what I set out to achieve.”