Newmarket: Gold medallist Ron Wallwork drops into Newmarket College ahead of Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay
PUBLISHED: 15:12 05 June 2014
One of the Suffolk baton bearers in the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay dropped into Newmarket College yesterday to talk to students about his career.
Race walker Ron Wallwork is a former Games athlete and won a gold medal when the competition was held in Jamaica.
During his career Mr Wallwork competed in two Commonwealth Games, two European championships and four race walking World Cups.
The 73-year-old, who only retired from competitive race walking at the age of 70, answered students’ questions about his achievements, sport and training.
Telling the students how he won his gold medal, Mr Wallwork said: “I finished second in the trial for the Games and Athletics Weekly had me as the favourite to win the bronze medal.
“But on the day it turned out very different.
“I took a big gamble in the race. Jamaica was very hot and humid and we were given water every five miles.
“But at the 15-mile mark I chose not to take a drink. The others did and I opened up a 20 to 25m gap and I hung on to that until the finish.
“It was a gamble as I could have collapsed in the heat but sometimes that’s what you have to do to win.
However he added: “My biggest achievement was in 1971 when I became the first Britain to walk 26km in two hours.
“I broke the record held by Olympic champion Ken Matthews, who was my idol.
“To me that overshadows winning a gold medal.”
Jenny Mills, head of PE at Newmarket College, said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet Ron before the Queen’s Baton Relay event on Monday.
“The students researched Ron’s career before the visit to ask him some great questions and they were very excited to meet him.”
Mr Wallwork will carry the Queen’s Baton into Newmarket racecourse during its tour of the county next Monday.