23rd June 2018
Bosworth and Davies back on home soil for British Championships
Leeds’ Roundhay Park will be the venue for the British Grand Prix of Race Walking 20km that incorporates the British Championships and the trials for this summer’s showpiece European Championships.
It will also be a homecoming event for Commonwealth silver medallist Tom Bosworth (coach: Andi Drake) and bronze medallist Bethan Davies (Drake), who will be competing in Britain for the first time since their successes on the Gold Coast. Both will start as favourites in the men’s and women’s events respectively.
Leeds-based Bosworth will be looking to build on the magnificent British record of 79:38 minutes he set at the Commonwealth Games, where he became the first British athlete to break the 80-minute barrier.
Both Bosworth and Davies visited the Pit Lane during last month’s IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships in Taicang in China, which resulted in them finishing 14th and 64th respectively.
Bosworth, who broke the world best for 3000m indoors at the Müller Grand Prix Glasgow in February, will be using the race to fine tune his preparations for a tilt at a medal at the Europeans in Berlin in August.
He has won the previous two editions of the British Grand Prix of Race Walking and said: “It will be great to be able to perform on my home patch again after spending so much time in Australia for the Commonwealths and China for the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships it will be great to compete in front of my family, friends and training partners.”
His main competition will come from training partner Callum Wilkinson (Drake) who was seventh in the Commonwealth Games clocking 82:35, just outside his personal best, before having to sit out Taicang due to illness.
Cameron Corbishley (Drake), fresh from a block of training at the Australian Institute of Sport and winning the England under-23 title over 10,000m on the track at Bedford on Sunday, will be targeting to revise his current personal best of 86:00 and targeting the Berlin qualifying standard of 85:00.
Guy Thomas (Martin Rush) will be looking to return to the form of 2017 that saw him clock a personal best of 88:38. Slovakian duo Miroslav Uradnik, who has a personal best of 85:20, and Dominik Cerny as well as Latvian Ruslans Smolonskis will also be in the mix.
In the women’s 20km Davies will look to build on her magnificent bronze medal on the Gold Cost in a season that has also seen her move to No.2 on the UK all time list after clocking 91:53 in Lugano in March.
She will be looking to regain the British Grand Prix and British titles from Leeds-based Gemma Bridge (Mark Wall), who was victorious last year in 92:33. Bridge was fifth on the Gold Coast and clocked a seasons best 95:43 when finishing 53rd in Taicang.
Davies’ Welsh compatriot Heather Lewis (Chris Jones), who was seventh at the Commonwealth Games, also has the European qualifying standard of 97:00 when she set a personal best of 96:14 in Lugano that moved her to fifth on the UK all time list. She won the British 10km Championships in Coventry last month.
Erika Kelly (Steve Partington), who finished ninth on the Gold Coast representing the Isle of Man, will be looking to improve her personal best of 99:36 set in Lugano. She was the runner-up to Lewis in the British 10km Championships. Slovakian Monika Hornakova will race and has a personal best of 99:53.
The event is free for spectators and the course is a 500m out and back loop on the Carriage Drive alongside Waterloo Lake. The action gets underway at 09:30 with the winners expected to cross the finish line at 10:50.