24th June 2017
British walkers looking to secure places in London
Leeds’ Roundhay Park will be the venue for the British Grand Prix of Race Walking on Sunday. This 20km event acts as the British Championships and the British Team Trial event for August’s IAAF World Championships London 2017.
Tom Bosworth (Coach: Andi Drake) who finished sixth in the Rio Olympic Games, will be looking to secure his place on the British team for London. Bosworth has made a fine start to the 2017 season finishing second in the IAAF Race Walking Challenge in Rio Maior in April. He was just outside the medals in the European Cup Race Walking in Podebrady in the Czech Republic when finishing fourth in May, the best ever finish by a British athlete.
Leeds Beckett student and reigning IAAF World Junior 10,000m race walk champion Callum Wilkinson (Drake) has made a great transition to the senior ranks, culminating in a magnificent tenth place in last month’s European Cup Race Walking, where he clocked 82:17. Both Bosworth and Wilkinson have already posted times inside the British Athletics qualifying standard of 84.00 and therefore need to finish in the top two British athletes to secure their place on the team for London.
Other British athletes looking to build on some fine performances in the IAAF Race Walking Challenge event in La Coruna at the beginning of the month include Dominic King who has already secured selection for the 50km in London. Guy Thomas (Martin Rush) also set a personal best of 88.38 in the same race, just ahead of Daniel King who clocked a season’s best of 89.10.
Welsh athlete Bethan Davies (Drake) and Gemma Bridge (Mark Wall) will look to secure their places on the British team in London this weekend. Both have walked inside the British Athletics qualifying standard and just need to finish in the top two (Brits) to secure selection.
Davies who is on the athlete roster at the National Centre for Race Walking set her personal best of 93:48 at the Olympic Trials staged at Woodhouse Moor last year. Bridge leads the British rankings for 2017 with the 94:24 clocking she set in finishing 14th in the European Race Walking Cup last month, ahead of Davies who finished 22nd.
Other athletes to keep an eye out for are Heather Lewis (Coach: Martin Bell) who will be looking to improve on her personal best of 97:39 she set in Lugano in March as she targets the British Athletics Qualifying time of 96.00.
In the supporting under 20 10km event, Chris Snook (Verity Snook) who took the England under 20 title last weekend in Bedford heads the entries alongside Leeds based Tom Partington (Steve Partington).
The event is free for spectators and the course is a 500 metres out and back loop on the Carriage Drive alongside Waterloo Lake. The action gets underway at 09.30.
For more details visit the event website at https://sites.google.com/site/britishgrandprixofracewalking/home
Or follow @Leedswalk on Twitter for live updates