Wilkinson becomes a British record holder
Callum Wilkinson is following the footsteps of racewalking royalty by breaking a British record of a former Olympian that had stood for 33 years.
The King Edward VI School sixth-former again demonstrated his burgeoning talent by sweeping all aside at the Eastern Indoor Championships, smashing Phil Vesty’s long-standing British Under-20 one-mile walk record by almost five-and-a-half seconds in the process, in a new time of six minutes 3.78 seconds.
And while the 17-year-old has not ruled out emulating the previous record holder, who went on to compete in the 1984 Olympics, an elated Wilkinson knows a similar path is some way off yet.
“I hadn’t targeted that race as one I could break the record but I knew I was,” he said.
“The club hadn’t started the electronic timer so I didn’t know I had beaten it until an hour afterwards — I was elated.
“I believe I could follow in his footsteps, but I know the Olympics is some way off for me just yet, that distance is 12 miles. However, it is definitely a good sign this early in the season and hopefully this will stand me in good stead for the year.”
The next challenge will see Wilkinson try to earn his first place in the Great Britain squad for the European Cup in May.
“I need to walk 10km in 45 minutes to qualify in March,” he added.“I’m quietly confident that could be done quite comfortably.
“My next aim would then be to qualify for the European Junior Championships in July by clocking 43 minutes.”
“With my current form I’m confident of being even faster.”