A young athlete who could represent Britain in the London 2012 Olympics has disappeared, police said Tuesday.

Ross Clarke, 21, has not been seen since he left his home in Rainham, Essex, last Friday.

The Basildon Amateur Athletic Club member is among the top six 1,500 meter runners in the country.

He is one of a small elite group being coached by Eamonn Martin, the last British man to win the London Marathon.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said Clarke was last seen at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and may have traveled to Southampton in the evening.

He said no one has heard from the runner since, and his family and friends are anxious about his safety.

Clarke is white, about 6 feet 1 inch tall, of slim build, with blue-green eyes.

The athlete has already received honors at the national level in several junior age groups and has won county and southern England races.

Coach Keith Bottjer, of Basildon Amateur Athletic Club, said Clarke is a "promising young talent" and an "extremely nice lad."

He said: "Throughout the age groups Ross was in the top 10 in the country. He is an Olympic hopeful and was running well last year. Ross was in Eamonn Martin's training group.

"I must admit I have not seen him for a number of weeks, whether he had given up or had injury problems I do not know. They do that from time to time."

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