ZOEY CLARK should have been preparing to go to Florida for a warm-weather training camp right now.

Instead, the 400m runner is in Aberdeen, looking for a suitable field in which she can train.

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc across the sporting world over the past few weeks, and Clark is just one of thousands of athletes who have been severely affected by the disruption caused by the global pandemic.

It is an unsettling time. The 25-year-old was well on track to qualify for her first Olympic Games but instead, the next few months are filled with uncertainty.

“It’s mad because things have changed so quickly,” the world championship relay silver medallist said.

“As recently as last week, we thought our camp in America would still go ahead and then a couple of days later, it was all cancelled. Everything happened really quickly."

As things stand, the Olympics are still due to go ahead in July. That may be looking more and more unlikely but Clark has to go on the Games organisers’ information, which advises athletes to prepare as best they can. It is quite a mental challenge though, admits Clark, to focus solely on training with so much going on elsewhere.

“It’s so hard to get your head around everything and what’s so difficult is that we still don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said.

“With how things are, you can’t see the Olympics going on as normal but this week, the organisers said things were going ahead.

“You can’t get closure because you still have to prepare as if the Olympics are on and you have to stay motivated but then in the back of your mind, you’re wondering if the Olympics will happen?

“I desperately want the Olympics to take place this year because we work in four-year cycles and literally the past four years have been leading to this but you also have to be sensible and so maybe it will have to be delayed. That’s such a massive deal though.”

The next few months are going to look very different from what Clark had prepared for.

Her regular training venue, the Aberdeen Sports Village, closed indefinitely on Friday and so she has had to rapidly adapt to these exceptional circumstances that may last months. And with her coach ensuring the training group Clark is normally a part of do not come into close contact with each other, there are countless solo sessions in a far less glamerous training venue than Florida on the horizon.

She is quick to recognise she is in a far better position than many of her fellow sportspeople though.

“I’m really fortunate that I have a gym in my garage so it means I can still lift weights,” she said.

“And being a runner, I’m more fortunate than athletes in other sports because we can find a field and run there. It’s not ideal but it’s manageable.

"As much as it’s frustrating for me, I know I’m way more fortunate than some other athletes in other sports who need facilities more than I do."

Clark, as with all track and field athletes, have not begun their qualification process for Tokyo 2020, with the British trials not due to take place until June.

As things stand, much, if not all, of the pre-Olympic season could be wiped out and so Clark is utterly confused as to how things are going to pan out when it comes to making it into Team GB. And if the Olympics do go ahead, what kind of event is it going to be with athletes having had such a dearth of races ahead of Tokyo.

“It the Olympics do go ahead as scheduled, no one would have any competitions before it so how do people qualify?,” Clark asks.

“And then when you do get there, no one will be race-ready so that in itself would be so difficult, knowing you’re going to the biggest competition of your life and not being as prepared for it as you need to be.

"I’m trying to avoid wallowing in self-pity but I haven’t been to the Olympics so this was supposed to be it for me so it is very difficult to grasp.”

However, ever the optimist, Clark is trying her best to look for any positives in this most difficult of times. Having suffered a touch of achillies tendinopathy over the winter, Clark is doing her best to convince herself that this delay to the season could work in her favour.

“I’m trying to use what’s happening at the moment as a positive – I haven’t been doing the sessions I normally would at this time of year and so I’m trying to look at this as giving me the chance to get on top of this niggle.

“I’m trying to look at it like it’s given me a little more time so I’m ready for when the season does go ahead. I need something to work towards – I find it really difficult to train without something to train for so that’s how I’m trying to look at this.”