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Callum on verge of Great Britain selection

Race walker Callum Wilkinson is on the verge of fulfilling a lifelong ambition as he looks set to earn his first call up to the Great Britain squad.

The Bury St Edmunds King Edward VI Upper School pupil stands on the verge of being handed his first Great Britain vest for the European Race Walking Cup in Murcia, Spain next month after walking inside the qualification time in a personal best-equalling display at the annual Podebrady International meeting in the Czech Republic last weekend.

Representing England in the junior 10km category, the 17-year-old finished fourth in 44 minutes and 15 seconds as he remains the fastest of the three athletes to walk inside the qualification time.

“I was really pleased with the time,” said the Moulton-based ace.

“I had already walked the qualification time before but I needed to show I could do it in a European race.

I should hear if I have been selected after the weekend but of the three guys who have walked the qualifying time I am the quickest.

“That gives me a very strong chance and hopefully it just a formality. Unless there is a disaster I can look forward for my debut for the GB team.

“That is really exciting. Every athlete spires to represent Great Britain and to have that first opportunity of getting that vest is amazing.

“It would definitely be the highlight of my career so far because to represent Great Britain would be a real honour.

“It is slightly hard to talk about it because it is something I’ve always wanted.”

However, before the prospect of fulfilling his Great Britain dream, Wilkinson first has the small matter of defending his national Under-20s title at Hillingdon on Saturday.

For the youngster it is another chance to show the selectors why he deserves his place among the Great Britain squad.

“My first focus is the Under-20s championship and to make sure I perform strongly and defend my title,” he added.

“It is a national title and so I want to be at my best to make sure I make a good impression.

“I want to prove why I should be number one to the selectors and that is a good focus to go into the race with.

“It is a race where the thinking is I should come first and so that is my only aim.”


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