Wilkinson Walks To World Juniors Gold

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Callum Wilkinson (coach: Mick Graham) becomes the first British race walker for half a century to hold a global race walking title when he became the IAAF World Junior Champion this morning in Bydgoszcz.

He finished the race in a world lead time of 40:41.62 having led from half-way. It was a close fight between the top three as they came off the bend but the Enfield and Haringey athlete, looking relaxed, accelerated on the home straight crossing the line clear of Jhonatan Amores of Ecuador in second place.

An elated Wilkinson said “As I crossed the line it was a massive feeling of relief but also disbelief. I can’t believe I am world champion! I am sure I’ll get called that at home and won’t even realise it’s me!

“I felt really comfortable going into the last 2k. I didn’t even look behind during the last 200m.

“I knew before the race I could do it but you still have to go and deliver. The pace was very slow and I hadn’t intended to lead from the front but I thought I have to increase this pace as it so slow. My season has gone well. I ran well in Rome so I was confident coming into the race and now having experienced that elation I hope I can go on to many more victories.”

In the same event, Cameron Corbishley finished 24th in 43:06.91.

During the evening session, there were top ten finishes for four athletes and the men’s relay team..

Adam Hague (coach:Trevor Fox) finished fifth in the Pole Vault clearing 5.40m on his second attempt. This was a season’s best outdoors for the European Junior Champion.

Afterwards he commented, “I feel really good after today. I jumped two season’s bests to get fifth and I moved on with new poles. Overall it was a good day although I would have liked more. My injury has completely gone. Today was just about the right poles. The weather was great.”

In the Javelin, Harry Hughes (Mike McNeill) finished seventh. With only the top six getting the opportunity for four throws, Hughes had to settle on his best, second throw of 72.22m. He was unable to match his personal best of 75.46m from Halle earlier this season.

James Whiteaker (Chris Blandford) finished 13th in the same event with a throw of 65.39m.

On the track, Finette Agaypong (Coral Nourrice) was seventh in the 200m in 22.74 (+0.6) running from the tough inside lane.

After a busy week of heats, semis and relay, Agaypong reflected “Seventh in the world does sound great as I thought it would be tough to make the final. I am really happy with that especially on tired legs. I felt very nervous on the blocks and the race didn’t go too well. Lane two is tough for a tall girl like me and my legs gave up on me.”

Alex Yee (Kenneth Pike) was ninth in the final of the 5000m in a new lifetime best of 13:52.01. In doing so the Kent AC athlete becomes the fastest British junior in the event since 1987.

He said “I feel good. My legs are so tired now but I worked really hard and I really dug in to see what I could do so I’ll take that and it is great to keep ticking off the personal bests then it is on to the next major champs. I stayed with the leaders for a good part of the race then they kicked off but I did my best to get the best possible place for Great Britain.”

The men’s 4 x 100m quartet of Zanson Plummer (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo), Oliver Bromby (Sara MacDonald-Gray), Ryan Gorman (Karen Buck) and Gerald Matthew (Jane Dixon) finished sixth in their final in a new season’s best of 39.57. Afterwards Plummer said “The changeovers went much better than yesterday. We are disappointed not to medal but really pleased to get a season’s best.”

Bromby added “Everyone did great today. We felt we had a lot more and we feel for the future we can really do something.”

Also this evening, Alicia Barrett (Toni Minichiello) moved into tomorrow’s final of the women’s 100m hurdles finishing third in her semi-final in a new personal best of 13.34 (+0.6) to progress as the fastest qualifier.

The Chesterfield athlete was relieved to go through, “It wasn’t great. I think I could have run quicker. I didn’t get out as quick as I’d hoped.”

Mollie Courtney (David Warner) agonisingly missed out finishing third in her semi-final in 13.42 (-0.1) just outside the fastest qualifier time.

In the 800m Daniel Rowden (Richard Thurston) was seventh in his semi-final in 1:49.58 so unfortunately misses out on tomorrow’s final. The Woodford Green & Essex Ladies athlete said after his race, “I gave it everything I had. My legs were a bit tired after the heat. I missed a step as it was very closed up at one moment and then I couldn’t catch up. I didn’t have it in my legs.”

Follow the IAAF World Junior Championships via https://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-u20-championships/iaaf-world-u20-championships-bydgoszcz-2016-5680/live and Eurosport 2.

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First published on: 24 July, 2016 12:00 am

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