Tom Bosworth (coach: Andi Drake) secured his place in the team for the Olympic Games taking victory in the British Grand Prix of Race Walking which doubled as the British Olympic Trials. With several qualifying performances already achieved, he cruised to victory in 86:15 as well as taking the England 20km Title.
Bosworth led his training partner Cameron Corbishley (Drake) through 5km in 20.59, as Corbishley chased the World Junior championships qualifying time of 42.20. The senior GB international moved away in the second 5km, passing halfway in 42.26. He cruised through the second half in 43.54, enjoying the support of the home crowd through the last few laps as he realised his Olympic dream.
The Leeds-based athlete said “This was very comfortable today and it was great to qualify for my first Olympics in front of so many family and friends. I would like to thank them and my wider support team for all their support on this journey. Four years ago I was in tears on the roadside in La Coruna after missing out by an agonising 19 seconds”.
Behind Bosworth Daniel King (George Nibre) got the better of a race long battle with his twin brother Dominic King (Nibre) to clock a seasons best of 90.23 to move to second on the 2016 UK Rankings. Dominic has already secured his qualification for the Olympics in the 50km race walk, moved to 3rd on the UK Rankings with 91.30 as they took the silver and bronze medals in the England Championships.
Bethan Davies (Drake) moved to second on the UK all-time list with a lifetime best and a Welsh Record of 93.48. However, she was 48 seconds short of the UKA Olympic Qualifying time of 93.00. Davies put the disappointment of an early disqualification in last month’s Wold Team Race Walking Championships in Rome as she put in a massive effort to chase 93.00 and passed the 5km point in 22.59. The next 5km was passed in 23.26 to give her a halfway clocking of 46.25, which was spot on pace for the qualifying time. She slipped off the pace at the 15km point and despite a her best efforts in the last quarter of the race, she was unable to hold the 93.00 minute qualifying pace. Despite the disappointment this improved her personal best by over two minutes.
Davies commented afterwards: “I am disappointed to have come so close but this is a massive performance after the disappointment of Rome. I did my first ever 20km in training in this park four years ago and I am now half an hour quicker. This shows how far I have come and I will use this as a stepping stone to qualify for London 2017”.
Siu Nga Ching of Hong Kong took second place in 1.40.17 ahead of Davies’ Welsh compatriot Heather Lewis (Martin Bell) who moved to second on the UK 2016 rankings with 1.40.40, her third fastest time ever. Hannah Hunter took the England title with 1.54.07 finishing in seventh place in the women’s event.
In the junior men’s 10km Corbishley was on the world junior standard pace with a 20.59 clocking at halfway, but lost contact with Bosworth during the sixth lap and started to slip off the pace and was removed by the judges on the last lap. A similar fate befell Guy Thomas (Martin Rush) who was also chasing the same standard. This left the way for U17 Tim Snook (Verity Snook) to take the win in 47.16 from Tom Partington (Steve Partington) in 48.37.
Emma Achurch (Steve Arnold) passed halfway in 24.02 and hung on in the second half to record a time of 48.09. Sophie Lewis Ward (Noel Carmody) clocked another European Youth qualifier clocking 24.22 over the 5km distance.