The British and England Athletics 20km Walk Championships and the British Team Trial event for the World Athletics Championships take place this weekend, held within the British Grand Prix of Race Walking at Leeds Roundhay Park on 30 June. This event has become a major fixture in the British athletic calendar.
The men’s race promises to be hotly contested, with the top two 20km race walkers in the UK, Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake) and training partner Callum Wilkinson (Andi Drake) both taking to the road. Also, in contention of a podium place is fellow Leeds based athlete Cameron Corbishley (Andi Drake) who has had an impressive start to the season which included a standout debut 50km performance in Dudince, in which he clocked 3:53:20, a British U23 record, 2nd fastest ever and in doing so, secured automatic selection for the World Championships. Bosworth, Wilkinson and Corbishley will also be looking to build on their recent success at the European Race Walking Cup in Alytus in Lithuania where they took team silver. The medal was the first won by a British men's team since 1967 at European or World level - although in 1979 the GB women won the IAAF World Cup in Eschborn.
Bosworth heads the British rankings with his 80.53 when finishing 4th in the European Cup in Alytus last month. He will look to put a disappointing 25th place in the IAAF Race Walking Challenge behind him (81.23) as he looks to win his 4th consecutive British Grand Prix. Wilkinson clocked a personal best of 81.34 in finishing 6th in Podebrady in April and was 9th in the European Cup in 81.54. He has since taken the British 10km record from Bosworth clocking 39.31 in Slovakia and set a new British Under 23 record when winning the Under 23 title in Bedford. In 40.29.32 Both Wilkinson and Corbishley who clocked a personal best of 85.45 in Alytus will both be looking to also secure places in the European Under 23 Championships in Gävle, Sweden next month.
Italian Tedorico Caporaso finished 4th on the 50km in the 2016 IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Rome in 3.48.29 and has a 20km personal best of 83.41 set in 2016. Other athletes to look out for in this exciting event include Lukáš Gdula (Czech Republic) and Aleksi Ojala (Finland) who have 20km PBs of 85:50, and 83:16 respectively.
In the women’s race, the Isle of Man athlete Erika Kelly (Andi Drake) will start as favourite for the England title after setting a new 10km PB of 47:17 in March. Kelly has been going from strength to strength and achieved her first GB vest last month in Alytus, finishing 40th in 107.58. Jasmine Nicholls (Andi Drake) will also be toeing the line and, like Kelly will be looking to improve on her 20km PB.
- For more details visit the event website at nationalendurancecentre.co.uk/grand-prix
- Or follow @leedswalk on Twitter for live updates
- Link to Livestream on UK Race Walking News Facebook page