Suffolk race walker Callum Wilkinson breaks his own British Under-23 record
- Credit: PA
Suffolk athlete Callum Wilkinson set a new British under-23 record as he excelled in a strong Great Britain team at the European Race Walking Cup, staged at Podebrady in the Czech Republic over the weekend.
International race walker Wilkinson, from Moulton, near Newmarket, finished 10th overall in the senior men’s 20K event, posting an impressive time of 1hr 22mins 17secs.
Fellow East Anglian race walker Dominic King, of Colchester Harriers, was also in the GB team in the 20K event. The 33-year-old, who has competed in two Olympic Games over the 50K distance, was 47th in a time of 1:29.28.
The British effort was led by Tom Bosworth, who finished sixth at last year’s Olympics. Bosworth clocked 1:21.21 in fourth slot, despite being hampered by a hip injury.
But Wilkinson, the reigning IAAF World Junior 10,000m race walk champion, who is coached by Mick Graham, often on the West Suffolk Arena track in Bury St Edmunds, produced another fine performance of his own.
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The 20-year-old only moved up to the 20km distance, from the 10K event, earlier this year.
His time of 1:23.47 on his 20km debut in Lugano, Switzerland, back in March, was a British Under-23 record, as well as being inside the qualifying standard for this summer’s IAAF World Championships, to be staged in London.
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And Wilkinson, who is a student at Leeds Beckett University and a member of Enfield & Haringey, lowered his own record by a further 90 seconds today (Sunday).
King, meanwhile, has already confirmed his selection for the 50km race walk at this summer’s World Championships.
Both Wilkinson and King were part of the GB team which finished fourth, with 50 points, the best-ever result by a British contingent.
The race was won by Christopher Linke, of Germany, in 1:19.28. European champion Miguel Angel Lopez was second in 1:20.21 and Sweden’s Perseus Karlstrom third with 1:20.40.
It has been an unbelievable last few years for Wilkinson, who was crowned world junior champion in Bydgoszcz, Poland, last July.
Earlier last year, he tasted victory at the weekend’s same venue of Podebrady, in the junior 10K race at the European Athletics RAce Walking Permit meeting.