Tobi Amusan, the first Nigerian athlete to win a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships, is a grateful soul. Amusan finished the 100-meter hurdles in 12.12 seconds, breaking the previous world record of 12.20 seconds set by US Olympian Kendra Harrison in 2016.
With eclat, she acknowledged the role of her coach. As she put it: “You all should meet my lovely coach and second mum, Lacena Golding Clarke. She recruited me while I was back in Nigeria to the University of Texas, El Paso. That was when I was running 14.2s and today is history for both of us.
“She was also a world-class hurdler during her active days; multiple finalists at the Olympics, and World Championships and was a Commonwealth Games Champion representing Jamaica. Thank you for everything coach.”
Lacena Golding-Clarke was born on 20 March 1975 in Clarendon, Jamaica. She is a retired female hurdling athlete. She represented Jamaica at the Summer Olympics in 1996, 2000 and 2004, and took part in the World Championships in Athletics on five separate occasions.
She began her career as a long jumper and she participated in this event at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. Her personal best jump is 6.87 metres, achieved in June 1998 in Kingston.
She won a gold medal in the 100 metres hurdles at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Her personal best time is 12.68 seconds, achieved in June 2005 in Kingston. Other high points of her hurdles career included a bronze at the 2003 Pan American Games and a bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
According to a report, Veteran Hurdler Hangs Up Spikes, published by Jamaica Observer, she retired from track and field in 2010 after having reached her sixth consecutive 60 m final at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
After graduating from Auburn University with a BA in Political Science and Government in 1999, as published on Linkedin, Golding-Clarke was a volunteer assistant coach at Auburn from March 1999 to August 2006 and then moved to the University of Texas at Austin to work as a coach from September 2006 to 2011. In May of 2012, Golding-Clarke became the assistant coach at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). While at UTEP, Golding-Clarke coached 13 All-Americans, 32 regional qualifiers, 32 C-USA individual title winners, and eight school record-breakers, including Tobi Amusan.
In January 2022, Golding-Clarke returned to Auburn University as Assistant Coach for the Women’s Sprints and Hurdles.