11th August 2018


Tom Bosworth claimed seventh place in the final of the men’s 20km Race Walk, in the only action taking place on Saturday morning of the European Championships

Bosworth’s walk was measured, staying comfortably in touch with the leaders for the first five kilometres, despite being a little further down the field than his rivals.

At the halfway stage, he had moved up to ninth position, remaining just a second behind the then-leader, Germany’s Nils Brembach, as the field went through the 10k marker in 41:08.

At 15 kilometres, Bosworth moved to the head of the field and opened up a brief one-second margin over the chasing pack.

The pace kicked once again in the closing stages, led by Spain’s Alvaro Martin, which saw Bosworth lose ground on the leaders, slipping to sixth with two kilometres remaining, some 20 seconds behind the leading trio.

Under pressure from Germany’s Hagen Pohle in the last kilometre, Bosworth found enough energy to hold onto seventh place, crossing the line in 1:21:31, 49 seconds behind eventual winner Alvaro Martin, who clocked 1:20:42.

After the race, he said: “It’s annoying because my preparation has gone almost perfectly and something didn’t feel quite right. I don’t know whether we missed the peak by a day. It’s just something felt odd so I couldn’t live with the pace at the end.

“I didn’t get any cards, I controlled my own race I was ready to dictate it at the end so there’s loads of positives to take, it’s just a bit annoying that my legs just weren’t in the last kilometre.

“The course itself was fantastic, great for racewalking, exactly what it needs. I know I could have lived with the pace but I just got it wrong.

“My season’s target was one medal at Commonwealth Games or Europeans so to be able to live with a race like that at his point in the season where it just got faster and faster shows I still had something in the tank.”

Teammate Callum Wilkinson (Andi Drake, Enfield & Haringey) was in the mix in the early stages, taking the lead shortly after the six kilometre mark, but was disqualified just before the seven kilometre stage.

In the women’s race, Bethan Davies (Andi Drake, Cardiff) came home in 22nd position, clocking a time of 1:36:50 in the process.

The Welshwoman received two cards in the early stages of the race but kept her focus to ensure that she finished for the British team.

Davies had remained in touch with the leaders inside the first kilometres, but the first surge of the race saw Davies some 40 seconds behind.

The British Champion felt that having the cards to her name impacted how she ran, but felt pleased that she was able to manager her performance to finish the race.

She assessed: “I got two red cards early on, so then I just dropped back and slowly got slower. I felt tired in the approach to this but felt I ought to go for it in the beginning and see what happened. Bit I died!

“I think in the past I’ve had a few DQs and if I got a red that early on I normally would have panicked so definitely a positive going forward is that I managed to cope with that and keep my technique even when I was slowing down. Because that’s when I can look worst when I slow. So I am proud I managed to get through it.”

Teammate Heather Lewis (Martin Bell, Pembrokeshire) was unable to follow her teammate in finishing the race after being disqualified shortly after passing through 6km.

Like Davies, she received two cards early on in proceedings and was shown a third with just over a third of the race gone.

Action tonight continues back in the Olympiastadion with British interest in the finals of the Women’s Long Jump, 400m, discus and 4x400m and men’s 5000m and 4×400.

Medal count:

Gold – Zharnel Hughes (men’s 100m), Dina Asher-Smith (women’s 100m), Matt Hudson-Smith (men’s 400m)

Silver – Reece Prescod (men’s 100m), Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (men’s 200m), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (women’s heptathlon)

Bronze – Holly Bradshaw (women’s pole vault), Meghan Beesley (women’s 400m hurdles), Jake Wightman (men’s 1500m

Top eight finishes:

4th – CJ Ujah (men’s 100m), Adelle Tracey (women’s 800m)

5th – Andy Vernon (men’s 10,000m), Tim Duckworth (men’s decathlon), Adam Gemili (men’s 200m), Zak Seddon (men’s 3000m steeplechase), Charlie Da’Vall Grice (men’s 1500m)

6th – Imani Lansiquot (women’s 100m), Dan Bramble (men’s long jump), Alice Wright (women’s 10,000m), Lynsey Sharp (women’s 800m), Andrew Pozzi (men’s 110m hurdles)

7th – Sophie McKinna (women’s shot put), Morgan Lake (women’s high jump), Tom Bosworth (Men’s 20km Race Walk)

8th – Eilidh Doyle (women’s 400m hurdles), Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (women’s 800m)