20th May 2019
BRITISH TEAM CLAIM SILVER AT EUROPEAN RACE WALKING CUP
Great Britain & Northern Ireland took their first ever medal in the European Race Walking Cup as the senior men’s team took silver in the 20km team event in Alytus, Lithuania.
Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake; Tonbridge AC) led the team home, finishing just outside the medals in fourth place, stopping the clock at 1:20:53, with Callum Wilkinson (Andi Drake; Enfield & Haringey) the second Brit home in ninth, clocking 1:21:54.
Cameron Corbishley (Andi Drake; Medway & Maidstone) produced some tremendous last laps to clinch the silver medal for the team and set a personal best mark of 1:25:45, achieving the European Under-23 Championship qualifying mark in the process.
Bosworth said after the race: “I felt so good today I really thought I would win a medal. I waked 3:57 for the lap they caught me. I rolled my ankle at the point when I was fighting for the bronze medal. I battled back on the last 2 laps and I’m gutted to finish fourth again, but the team medal makes up some of my personal disappointment.”
Bosworth set the early pace, moving away with Germany’s Christian Linke ahead of the lead pack on only lap two, passing through 5km in 20:15, with Wilkinson 16th and Corbishley 27th, and the former broke away to lead at the halfway point in a time of 40.11.
Sweden’s Perseus Karlström took the lead in the closing stages of the race and Bosworth found himself fifth on the final circuits but recovered well to match his fourth place finish from 2017. Teammates Wilkinson and Corbishley powered through the final lap, retaking three places each for respective ninth and 25th place finishes, earning a second-place finish with 38 points. Dominic King (George Nibre; Colchester Harriers), was disqualified shortly after the 12km mark.
The senior women’s team of Heather Lewis (Chris Jones; Pembrokeshire), Bethan Davies (Andi Drake; Cardiff) and Erika Kelly (Andi Drake; Northern) produced a good performance and came home in eighth position as a team, led by Lewis’ 21st place finish.
She passed Davies shortly before the 15km mark and held her form to the end, crossing the line in 97:43, as Davies recorded a season’s best of 99:02, coming home 25th. Kelly, on her British debut, recorded 107:58 and claimed 40th place.
In the junior men’s race, Chris Snook (Verity Snook; Aldershot, Farnham & District) produced an excellent performance to come home in fifth place, less than 20-seconds outside the medals.
Chasing the European Under-20 Championship qualifying standard of 43:00.00, Snook produced a measured race, recording a time of 43:45, a reward for his bold tactics. He went with the leading pack in the early stages, going through halfway in 21:34 and pushing on in the closing stages to claim another two places and a top-five finish.
He said afterwards: “Despite being ill recently, it’s great to finish fifth in Europe. I am a bit disappointed not to walk faster and get the 43.00 qualifying time for the European Juniors. My plan was to go with the main pack, but unfortunately I couldn’t quite hold the pace in the 2nd Half but overall I am very pleased with that performance.”