Race walkers Callum Wilkinson and Dominic King all set for World Championships
- Credit: PA
Two East Anglian athletes will be pounding the streets of London this weekend, competing on a global stage at the World Athletics Championships.
Suffolk’s Callum Wilkinson and Dominic King, from Essex, will be competing in the men’s race walks along The Mall on Sunday morning, at opposite ends of their career.
For Wilkinson, from Moulton, near Newmarket, this will be his first taste of a major senior championship, although the 20-year-old has already been crowned a world champion at junior level over 10K, in Poland last year.
King, a 34-year-old member of Colchester Harriers, has by contrast already competed at two Olympic Games (London 2012 and Rio 2016), plus two Commonwealth Games (Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006).
The duo spent three weeks of altitude training at Font-Romeu, in the Pyrenees, before moving to the Team GB holding camp in Paris. They actually roomed together, before arriving in London on Tuesday.
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King will be in action over the 50K distance (race starts at 7.55am on Sunday), while Wilkinson will be tackling the 20K race walk (2.20pm).
“Font-Romeu was great fun. I learnt a lot, and we got through some hard training sessions,” enthused Wilkinson.
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“It was the first time that I had trained at altitude. Everything you did required a bigger effort, even climbing the stairs. For me, the second week was the best week. I was not too tired at that stage, and I had got used to the altitude.
“As for this Sunday’s race, I’m really excited about the prospect of competing in front of what should be an amazing crowd, and in such high-class competition.
“I’d love to finish in the top 20, though obviously much will depend on how the other athletes get on. But that would be a great result, and I’s also like to set a personal best.
“I just want to give it my all,” added Wilkinson, who is a former pupil at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds.
He has a PB of 1hr 22mins 17secs for 20K, set in the Czech Republic in May.
King, meanwhile, said: “I’m fitter than I’ve ever been before. My speed has been better, over the shorter distances this year, but the main thing over the 50K will be my technique.
“I will be concentrating on doing my own race, and not getting too carried away by the big occasion,” added King, who works at the University of Essex.