England Athletics 20km race walk champions crowned

Callum Wilkinson and Erika Kelly won the men and women’s England Athletics 20km races respectively. The event was incorporated into the British Grand Prix of Race Walking at Roundhay Park, Leeds.

In the women’s England Athletics 20km, Erika Kelly sat in 1st place from the gun, whilst Jasmine Nicholls found a comfortable second place and Hannah Hunter was just behind in 3rd. Kelly passed the 5km point in 24:48, and kept consistent over the next 5km, to reach the 10km mark in 49:34 holding onto 1st place in the England championship ahead of Nicholls in 2nd, who passed this point in 54:58, and Hunter in 3rd, who was just over 2 minutes behind (57:07). After 1:15:34 of racing, Kelly had reached the 15km point and continued to look strong. Nicholls and Hunter crossed the 15km point in 1:24:32 and 1:28:25, remaining in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Kelly held on to the lead right until the finish, finally clocking 1.42.54, regaining the England 20km title that she won last year. The silver medal in the English Championship race went to Nicholls who finished in a new PB time of 1.54.34, whilst 3rd place went to Hunter who finished in 1:57:19 after a 2-minute stay in the pit lane.

In the men’s 20km, Callum Wilkinson and Tom Bosworth took to the front of the race from the start and soon established a small, but significant lead ahead of the chasing pack. The Leeds based athletes went through the 1km mark in 4 minutes. The chasing pack included Cameron Corbishley, who has already been selected for the 50km walk in Doha.

At the 4km point, Wilkinson had taken to the front (16:10), with Bosworth sitting in second, just a few steps behind (16:25). With the chasing pack, less than 15 seconds behind. By the halfway point, Bosworth had caught Wilkinson, and both men crossed the 10km mark in under 40 minutes. Bosworth held the lead through the 11km mark, but by the 15km point, Wilkinson retook the front spot. Just half a lap behind, the race was heating up in the battle for the Grand Prix bronze medal Corbishley still within reach of a podium finish and a new PB.

Wilkinson maintained his lead over the final 5km, cruising home in a new PB and course record of 1:21:46. Tom crossed the line in second place 1:24:10, both men securing spots on the plane to Doha this autumn. Corbishley finished 3rd in the England Athletics 20km race, clocking 1:24:42 (a new PB). The Isle of Man, and fellow Leeds-based athlete Tom Partington finished in a highly respectable 4rd place in the England Athletics race, recording a huge pb of 1:32:27 to move to 4th on the British rankings this year.

Callum Wilkinson covered the 20km distance in 1:21:46, gaining himself a spot on the British Athletics team for the World Athletics Championships being held in Doha this September. In coming 2nd in the Grand Prix, English athlete Tom Bosworth also secured his place on the start line in Doha, having achieved the qualifying standards earlier this year. After the race Wilkinson tweeted: “My 1st national senior title! Massive day in Leeds and delighted to take the title over 20km.”

Click here for results (PDF 160kB)

Report by Gemma Bridge