Bosworth and Bridge take England 10k Walk titles
In the first major domestic road event of the season, Tom Bosworth (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: Andi Drake) in his first road event since his brilliant 6th place in the 20km walk in Rio, clocked a comfortable victory in 40.20 to take the England Championships on a windy and wet spring day in Coventry. In the Women’s 10km Bethan Davies (Club: Cardiff AC, Coach: Andi Drake) who has recently returned from a training and racing stint in Australia took victory in the open race in 46.07, whilst Gemma Bridge (Club: Oxford City, Coach: Mark Wall) took the England title with a big new personal best of 47.07.
Bosworth fresh from his British Record over 5000m indoors in Sheffield at the British Indoor Team Trials, he set the early pace, closely followed by his training partners from the National Race Walking Centre in Leeds; World Junior Champion Callum Wilkinson (Club: Enfield & Haringey AC, Coach: Mick Graham) and Cameron Corbishley (Club: Medway & Maidstone AC, Coach: Andi Drake).
At the venue he set his British Record of 39.36 two years ago he set of on sub 40 minute pace. He soon established a lead over Wilkinson and Corbishley. He passed half way in sub 20 minutes but backed off in the second half to clock 40.20, a time that only himself and Chris Maddocks have bettered. Bosworth said, "It was good to get back out competing on the road and this sets me up nicely for my 20km season debut in 2 weeks in Lugano in Switzerland."
Behind him Wilkinson clocked his second fastest time ever to take the England silver medal in 40.49. Corbsihley removed a big chunk from his PB which previously stood at 43.05 on the road and 42.18.94 on the track from last year to clock 41.26 to take the bronze medal in the England Championships, as he moved to 9th equal on the UK All Time list alongside his coach Andi Drake and to 3rd on the Under 23 All Time list.
The performances of the 3 medallists equated to the highest quality domestic 10km ever staged in the UK and bodes particularly well for the trio over 20km. Chris Snook (Club: AFD, Coach: Verity Snook) went to top of the UK Under 20 rankings with his 46.37 just outside his PB from 2016 as he finished 4th ahead of fellow Under 20 Tom Partington (Club: Manx Harriers, Coach: Steve Partington) 47.32.
Bethan Davies (Club: Cardiff AC, Coach: Andi Drake) dominated the women’s 10km race from the gun, quickly establishing an early lead over the rest of the field. She recently clocked 95.47 in Adeladie in the Oceania and Australian 20km Race Walking Championships, and in Coventry finished in her second fastest ever 10km of 46.07 - moving to the top of the UK Rankings for 2017.
A fascinating race developed behind her for the minor places; Heather Lewis (Club: Pembrokeshire Harriers, Coach: Martin Bell) looking to put the disappointment of being disqualified whilst leading in the latter stages of the British Indoor Team Trials in Sheffield set of in pursuit of Davies. She established a gap of 50 metres over the pursuing pack of Gemma Bridge, Bristol-based Italian Tatyana Gabellone and Finland’s Elisa Neuvonen at the halfway point. However in the second half as Lewis slowed the trio began to chase her down and caught her at the start of the final 1.25km circuit.
A 4-way shoot out on the last lap resulted in Bridge getting the better of the international duo as she took over 3 minutes off her previous best to clock 47.07 and move to 12th on the UK All time list. Neuvonen was 3rd in 47.09 ahead of Gabellone 4th in 47.10 and Lewis 5th in 47.17. Erika Kelly (Club: Manx Harriers, Coach: Steve Partington) took the silver medal in the England Championships in 52.17 with Under 20 Emily Ghose (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: Peter Selby) taking the bronze in a PB of 57.34.
The supporting 5km saw a victory for former Commonwealth medallist Lisa Kehler in 27.17 as long-time leader Ana Garcia (Club: Sheffield, Coach: Mark Wall) was disqualified in the latter stages whilst in the lead. Abigail Jennings (Club: AFD, Coach: Verity Snook) was the leading Under 20 Women clocking 28.28, with Benjamin Allen (Club: Leicester WC) being the leading Under 17 man in 29.43 and Isabelle Bridge (Club: Blackheath & Bromley, Coach: Mick Jones) the leading Under 17 Woman in 29.45. Faris Alkhamesi (Club: Nuneaton) took the Under 15 boys' 3km in 17.24 as Lois Carter (Club: AFD, Coach: Verity Snook and Mick Woods) took the girls' title in 17.41. In the Under 13 2km Owen Bradshaw (Club: Sheffield & Dearne AC) clocked a very quick 11.27 as Katie Stringer (Club: Maidstone & Medway AC) took the girls' race in 12.01.
England Athletics 10k men's champs
1st: Tom Bosworth (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: Andi Drake) 40.20.
2nd: Callum Wilkinson (Club: Enfield & Haringey AC, Coach: Mick Graham) 40.59
3rd: Cameron Corbishley (Club: Medway and Maidstone AC, Coach: Andi Drake) 41.26
England Athletics 10k women's champs
1st: Gemma Bridge (Club: Oxford City, Coach: Mark Wall) 47.07
2nd: Erika Kelly (Club: Manx Harriers, Coach: Steve Partington) 52.17
3rd: Emile Ghose U20 (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: Peter Selby) 57.54
Photo left to right: Cameron Corbishley, Callum Wilkinson, Tom Bosworth, Gemma Bridge.