Suffolk star Callum Wilkinson hoping to guarantee selection for World Athletics Championships
- Credit: Archant
Callum Wilkinson is all set to rubber-stamp his qualification for this summer’s World Athletics Championships.
The Suffolk race walker has just one target this weekend – to finish in the top two at the British 20K Race Walk Trials, to therefore guarantee selection for the World Championships in London this August.
Wilkinson already has the qualifying time for the men’s 20K event, not once but twice, so he only needs to finish in the top two at Roundhay Park this Sunday to be assured of selection.
The 20-year-old will also have home advantage on his side – a student at Leeds Beckett University, Wilkinson trains at Roundhay Park every Saturday.
“My tactics will be different this weekend, absolutely, because it’s about my position and not the time,” explained Wilkinson.
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“I have a very clear goal that I want to achieve, to finish in the top two and so make sure that I am selected for the World Championships.
“Tom (Bosworth) and I are the only two who have the qualifying time so far,” added Wilkinson.
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Stepping up to the 20K his year, from the 10K event, Wilkinson dipped under the qualifying mark (of 84 minutes) in his first two races over the longer distance.
Wilkinson, who comes from Moulton near Newmarket, clocked 83mins 47secs in Lugano, Switzerland, at the Lugano Trophy competition in March, and then obliterated his personal best with a scorching time of 82mins 17secs at the European Race Walking Cup, held at Podebrady in the Czech Republic in May. He was 10th overall in a prestigious field.
He suffered the misfortune to be disqualified last weekend, picking up three cards while competing at the England Athletics Under-23 Championships in Bedford, over the 10K distance, but feels that he is well prepared for this Sunday.
“It was very hot last weekend, and I just gave it a chance. Luckily for me, I rarely get disqualified in events, although I was not pleased with the way that I walked,” explained Wilkinson.
“I’ve gone over it since, and I’ve made a few adjustments, a few little technical things. Now I have a fantastic opportunity to make sure that I am selected for the World Champs. The simple way to do that it to finish in the top two.”
Wilkinson has a new head coach in Andi Drake, although he is still closely associated with his Suffolk-based coach Mick Graham and mentor Ron Wallwork.