Callum Wilkinson planning a Chinese challenge after his exploits on the world stage in London
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Still buzzing from his appearance at the World Athletics Championships last weekend, Suffolk’s Callum Wilkinson is already planning new and exciting challenges ahead.
Wilkinson relished the experience of competing in his first global championship, at senior level, when finishing 41st in a time of 1hr 23mins 54secs in the 20K race walk on The Mall in London on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
The 20-year-old, from Moulton near Newmarket, was actually disappointed with his time over the 10-lap 2K course in the Capital, because it was 97 seconds slower than his 20K personal best of 1:22.17, set in the Czech Republic in May.
But it is a case of onwards and upwards for an ambitious Wilkinson – he is planning a trip to China next month, and then debut appearances at the Commonwealth Games and European Athletics Championships next year.
“I’m still a little tired after Sunday’s race,” explained Wilkinson.
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“I loved the whole experience, it was great, but a few days later and I’m still feeling a little disappointed. I have set myself high standards, and I pride myself on being a big scene performer, so in that way it was a bit of an ant-climax because I like to either set a personal best or win (he actually targeted a top-20 place in London).
“It was certainly not my best performance, because I knew that I was in very good shape. But it was great fun and it’s all a learning curve for me.
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“I’m on the way up the ladder, starting with these championships,” said Wilkinson.
With regards his future ambitions, Wilkinson revealed: “I’m planning to do a four-day event in China, what they call a race walking equivalent to cycling’s Tour De France (starting on September 24).
“It features a 20K race, and then three 10Ks, with lots of hills along a point-to-point course. That will be new to me. Then my target is the Commonwealth Games, which are in Australia on the Gold Coast near Brisbane next April, followed by the European Championships in Berlin in August.
“I think I can be very competitive at the European Champs, if I can get it all right, having finished 10th in the European Cup earlier this year,” added Wilkinson, who is a former pupil at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds.