15th May 2019
BRITISH TEAMS HEAD TO ALYTUS FOR EUROPEAN RACE WALKING CUP
Eight British athletes will represent the country at the European Race Walking Cup in Alytus, Lithuania on Sunday 19 May 2019.
The senior men’s 20km team will be looking to reach the podium following their best ever finish at the 2017 edition of these championships – fourth – with Commonwealth silver medallist Tom Bosworth (Tonbridge AC: Andi Drake) leading the strong squad of four.
Bosworth has started 2019 winning the SPAR Indoor British Championships over 5000m in February before taking victory in the England 10km Championships in Coventry in 41.26, and the USATF 20km Championships in California in 83.34 in March. He followed this up with an 11th place at the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in Rio Maior at the beginning of April (83.34).
2017 World Junior Champion Callum Wilkinson (Enfield & Haringey AC: Andi Drake) was a brilliant sixth at the European Athletics permit meeting in Podebrady last month, setting a personal best of 81.34 over the 20km distance, which was a British U23 record and moved him to second on the UK all-time list.
Adding further ammunition to the senior men’s quartet are Cameron Corbishley (Medway & Maidstone; Andi Drake) and Dominic King (Colchester; George Nibre), who both were recently selected for the IAAF World Championships later this year, over the 50km distance.
Corbishley made a sensational debut over the long distance in March, clocking the second fastest time ever by a Briton, 3:53.20. He turns his attention to shaving some time off his 20km best. King also clocked the world standard over 50km in Dudince but will step down to the shorter 20km distance on this occasion.
Some of the other major individual challengers will be Spain’s European Champion Alvaro Martin, Diago Garcia (ESP), Perseus Karlstrom (SWE) and Massimo Stano (ITA). The Great Britain & Northern Ireland squad will have eyes on reaching the podium for the first time ever at this competition.
In the senior women’s 20km, British number one in 2019, Heather Lewis (Pembrokeshire Harriers: Chris Jones) has twice improved her personal best over 20km already this season, with a 95.04 clocking in Podebrady last month moving her to fifth on the UK all-time list.
Welsh compatriot and Commonwealth Bronze Medallist Bethan Davies (Cardiff AC: Andi Drake) has a personal best of 91.53 set in Lugano in 2018, but has made a quiet start to 2019 clocking 99.43 at the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in Rio Major in April and finishing runner up to Lewis in the Molly Barnett 10km in Coventry in March in 46.59. Both Davies and Lewis will be targeting the British Athletics qualifying time of 93.30 for the IAAF World Championships in Doha.
Joining the Welsh duo in the team is the Isle of Man’s Erika Kelly (Northern AC: Andi Drake) making her senior Great Britain & Northern Ireland debut. The trio will be aiming to equal or better the sixth-place team finish of two years ago.
Italian Antonella Palmisano will be seeking to defend her title while Spain’s Maria Perez will be keen to add this title to her European gold from Berlin.
In the junior men’s 10km, Chris Snook (Aldershot: Verity Snook) is ranked fourth on season bests and sixth on personal bests of those entered following his 43.37 clocking on his way to the podium at the EAA Permit meeting in Podebrady last month. He will be looking to target the British Athletics qualifying time of 43.00 for the European Junior Championships.
The British team selected for the European Race Walking Cup Alytus 2019:
Senior Men’s 20km
Tom Bosworth (Tonbridge; Andi Drake)
Cameron Corbishley (Medway & Maidstone; Andi Drake)
Dominic King (Colchester; George Nibre)
Callum Wilkinson (Enfield & Haringey; Andi Drake)
Senior Women’s 20km:
Bethan Davies (Cardiff; Andi Drake)
Erika Kelly (Northern; Steve Partington)
Heather Lewis (Pembrokeshire; Martin Bell)
Junior Men’s 10km:
Chris Snook (Aldershot Farnham & District; Verity Snook)
Timetable (UK Time in Brackets)
10:30 (08.30) – 10km U20 Men
14:30 (12.30) – 20km Men
16:30 (14.30) – 20km Women
Watch the action live here.
Follow @leedswalk for in-depth updates on the British athletes in action.